Date of Award

Fall 2019

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

School

Leadership and Advanced Nursing Practice

Committee Chair

Dr. Patsy Anderson

Committee Chair School

Leadership and Advanced Nursing Practice

Committee Member 2

Dr. Bonnie Harbaugh

Committee Member 2 School

Leadership and Advanced Nursing Practice

Committee Member 3

Dr. Karen Rich

Committee Member 3 School

Leadership and Advanced Nursing Practice

Committee Member 4

Dr. Hwanseok Choi

Committee Member 4 School

Health Professions

Committee Member 5

Dr. Kyle Bewsey

Abstract

Rates of self-harm and suicide in the United States have not decreased since 1980 and remained relatively constant through the start of the 21st Century. The most recent data indicate that suicide rates in the United States have risen by about 2% a year from 2006 through 2016, although suicide rates have decreased in other countries during the same timeframe. Finding a viable intervention to slow rates of self-harm and suicide is needed in the United States. The need for closer patient observation has been cited as an underutilized intervention for the reduction of attempts of self-harm and suicide. This study examined one intervention used to facilitate closer observation of at-risk patients to decrease rates of self-harm and suicide. The study used a survey developed by the researcher for Mississippi psychiatrists and psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioners (PMHNP) to ascertain the degree of use, and effectiveness of, outpatient commitments (OPC) as an intervention for suicide prevention. Results from 23 respondents indicated that for a sample of 5821 patients, OPC was used for 411 patients. Paired sample t-tests were performed with a 0.05 significance level. A statistically significant difference was found in the average number of attempts of self-harm between the patients where OPC was used and those where OPC was not used (1.09 (SD = 2.308) vs. 14.95 (SD = 15.849), p < .001). A statistically significant difference was also found in the average number of completed suicides between those two groups (0.00 (SD = 0.000) vs. 1.61 (SD = 1.305), p < .001).

ORCID ID

https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1074-7768

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