A Scoping Review of Suicide Prevention Training Programs for Pharmacists and Student Pharmacists

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Objective. This scoping review updates a 2018 review of suicide prevention training programs for community and student pharmacists. Five scholarly databases were searched for articles published between January 2018 and December 2020. Articles were excluded if they did not describe an educational or training program for pharmacists or student pharmacists, did not explicitly include suicide, focused solely on attitudes, or did not provide sufficient detail to evaluate program content. The quality of each study was examined using a quality assessment tool.Findings. Seven studies met inclusion criteria. Most trainings (86%) were delivered live with interactive or role play scenarios to promote verbal and behavioral skill practice. About half (57%) assessed changes in knowledge, and fewer programs (29%) assessed changes in communication. All assessed participants' ability to identify suicide warning signs and included referral resources. Six studies were assessed for quality, of which 67% had a rating of good and 33% were rated as fair.Summary. Given the increase in suicide rates nationally, it is likely that pharmacists will encounter a patient in need of suicide prevention services. Since 2018, seven new suicide prevention training programs for community and student pharmacists have been reported, which demonstrates growing interest in suicide prevention training in the pharmacy profession. When integrated in Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) curricula, trainings may help prepare the pharmacy workforce for encounters with patients in crisis. The impact of training on self-efficacy and communication skills warrants additional attention. Variation between programs should be evaluated to understand which instructional methods best prepare pharmacy professionals to engage in suicide prevention.



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