Development of 2-hour suicide intervention program among medical residents: First pilot trial

Takahiro A. Kato, Yuriko Suzuki, Ryoko Sato, Daisuke Fujisawa, Kumi Uehara, Naoki Hashimoto, Yasunori Sawayama, Jun Hayashi, Shigenobu Kanba, Kotaro Otsuka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Citations (Scopus)


Aim: Suicide is associated not only with primary psychiatric disorders but also with physical disorders. Physicians' education on suicide prevention contributes to reducing suicide. Therefore, medical residents, who contact patients daily and who eventually become primary physicians in each specialty, might be the most appropriate candidates for intervention. In this article, we introduce our newly developed suicide intervention program among medical residents. Methods: We developed a 2-hour suicide intervention program among medical residents, based on the Mental Health First Aid (MHFA), which had originally been developed for the public. The program contains a 1-hour lecture and a 1-hour role-play session. As the first pilot trial, we conducted the program among 44 first-year medical residents at a university hospital and evaluated its effectiveness. Changes in confidence, attitudes and behavior toward suicidal people were evaluated using self-reported questionnaires before, immediately after, and 6 months after the program. Results: Participants' confidence and attitudes significantly improved after the program. The total mean score (standard deviation) of the Suicide Intervention Response Inventory improved from 18.4 (2.0) before the intervention to 19.4 (2.0) immediately after the intervention. However, the effectiveness was limited after 6 months. In the course of 6 months, the participants learned to apply the MHFA principles in their daily clinical practice. Conclusion: Our newly developed brief suicide intervention program demonstrating its effectiveness among medical residents should be modified in order to be more effective in the long term. The next trial with a control group ought to be conducted to evaluate our developed program.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)531-540
Number of pages10
JournalPsychiatry and clinical neurosciences
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Neuroscience
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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