Availability, content and quality of local guidelines for the assessment of suicide attempters in university and general hospitals in the Netherlands.
until further notice
SourceGeneral Hospital Psychiatry, 28, 4, (2006), pp. 336-342
Article / Letter to editor
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Epidemiology, Biostatistics & HTA
General Hospital Psychiatry
SubjectEBP 2: Effective Hospital Care; UMCN 1.5: Interventional oncology; EBP 2: Effective Hospital Care
OBJECTIVE: This study was performed to investigate the availability, content and quality of local guidelines for the assessment of suicide attempters in the Netherlands. METHOD: All university and general hospitals in the Netherlands were asked to provide their local guidelines. Published national guidelines and the Appraisal of Guidelines for Research and Education (AGREE) instrument were used to evaluate the content and quality of the local guidelines. RESULTS: Eighty-eight hospitals (90.7%) responded; 34 (38.6%) reported that they used local guidelines. Twenty-seven guidelines were submitted for evaluation. Most of the guidelines were more than 5 years old and had not been updated recently. The contents of the guidelines differed. Criteria addressing patient safety, staff attitude toward patients, reassessment of nonalert patients, relevant stressors, involvement of significant others and aftercare were found in less than 50% of the guidelines. Although psychiatric consultation was incorporated in almost 80%, the psychiatrist's tasks were specified infrequently. The guidelines seldom required monitoring of staff compliance. Only in the AGREE domain "clarity and presentation" was the mean score above 60% of the maximum. According to the instructions for the AGREE instrument, 10 (37.0%) of the 27 guidelines were recommended (with provisos or alterations) and 1 was strongly recommended for use in practice. CONCLUSIONS: In the Netherlands, a minority of hospitals reported use of local guidelines for the assessment of suicide attempters. When available, the guidelines were mostly not based on international standards, their contents varied greatly and their quality was unsatisfactory.
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