Encounters between physiotherapists and clients with suicidal thoughts and behaviours: A narrative literature review

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Abstract

This narrative review examined the literature relevant to encounters between physiotherapists and clients with suicidal thoughts and behaviours (STBs). The review was conducted in response to a growing international movement to make suicide prevention everyone’s business. The Framework for Suicide Risk Assessment and Management for NSW Health Staff (New South Wales Department of Health, 2004) informed the review as it requires all New South Wales Department of Health practitioners, including physiotherapists, to be able to assess and manage clients with STBs. The review identified 23 peer-reviewed articles and four non-peer-reviewed articles that mentioned encounters between physiotherapists and clients with STBs. The results suggest that physiotherapists may encounter clients with STBs given the conditions they manage, the increased risk of suicide associated with these conditions, and the pattern of contact between health professionals and clients with STBs. Future research is required to explore the prevalence of STBs among physiotherapy clients, the experiences of physiotherapists who have identified clients with STBs, and whether physiotherapists are adequately trained and competent in suicide risk assessment.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)70-81
Number of pages12
JournalNew Zealand Journal of Physiotherapy
Volume49
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 14 Jul 2021

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