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Intervening in the suicidal behavior in medical students: what survivors tell us

Grant number: 20/04056-4
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): September 01, 2020
Effective date (End): August 31, 2021
Field of knowledge:Health Sciences - Medicine - Psychiatry
Principal researcher:Lúcio Garcia de Oliveira
Grantee:Mayara da Matta Frederico
Home Institution: Centro Universitário Saúde ABC. Fundação do ABC. Santo André , SP, Brazil


Suicide is a deliberate, conscious and intentional act of a person who intends to die through a means that he considers lethal. It is an unexpected cause of death which generates an important economic, social and psychological burden for family members, communities and nations. Globally, it is the second leading cause of death among 15-29-year-olds. The suicide event among medical professionals also draws attention, once they are people who, on average, die twenty years earlier than colleagues who die from other causes due to factors of psychosocial stress. The vulnerability of these professionals highlights the importance of studying their lifestyle since their student life. In this sense, studies indicate that medical students have shown symptoms of depression, hopelessness, helplessness and suicidal ideation, often culminating in death. However, there are still gaps in knowledge about factors related to suicide among medical students, asking for the development of specific intervention programs for this population. We are not aware of researches that have assessed factors that would have prevented medical students from engaging in suicidal behavior. Bearing this in mind, the objective of this study will be to know the risk factors and, above all, to evaluate what was missing in the students' life that could have prevented them from engaging in suicidal attitudes. Casuistry and Methods: cross-sectional, observational, descriptive study based on assumptions and techniques of qualitative research methodology. An intentional sample will be selected from approximately thirty students who have committed suicidal behavior and who have been seen at the Student Welfare Center of the FMABC (NUBEM). Study participants will be invited to respond to a semi-structured interview, guided by a script, about suicide risk factors and, mainly, what are the factors that are prevented from carrying out or implementing suicidal behavior. Sampling continues until the theoretical saturation point is reached. Subsequently, participants will be asked to respond as Beck variations of depression, hopelessness and suicidal ideation. The risks of addiction to alcohol, tobacco and other drugs will also be included in the roadmap. All interviews will be recorded and conducted in safe and neutral environments; later, the audios will be transcribed and analyzed according to the assumptions of Bardin's content analysis. Expected results: in the light of the results of this research, it is expected to assist in the development of opportunities for identification, intervention and reduction in the number of suicide attempts and deaths among medical students.

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