The meaning of suicidal behaviour from the perspective of senior nursing undergraduate students

Int J Ment Health Nurs. 2018 Jun;27(3):1149-1161. doi: 10.1111/inm.12431. Epub 2017 Dec 28.


The meaning ascribed to suicidal behaviours may influence the quality of the care provided to people at risk of suicide. Such a phenomenon has yet to be properly investigated amongst nursing undergraduate students, the aim of this study being to gain an understanding of the meanings of suicidal behaviour for a particular group of nurses. The study, which utilized grounded theory, was conducted in Brazil in 2016-2017 with 30 undergraduate students. The findings indicated that suicidal behaviour, classified according to the individual beliefs and judgements of the participants, presented a significant barrier to the delivery of care and was complex and multifaceted care phenomenon. Participants were often reluctant to discuss the topic, seemingly wanting to distance themselves from the care of persons exhibiting suicidal behaviour, and to avoid professional engagements relating to suicide prevention. Significant work is required in raising both an awareness and knowledge of suicidal behaviour befitting the promotion of tolerance, emotional competency, resilience, and empathy amongst nursing students.

Keywords: attempted suicide; nursing student; suicide.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Female
  • Grounded Theory
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Male
  • Psychiatric Nursing / education
  • Qualitative Research
  • Students, Nursing / psychology*
  • Suicide / prevention & control
  • Suicide / psychology*
  • Young Adult