Oncologists, oncology nurses and oncology social workers experiences with suicide: impact on patient care

Leeat Granek*, Ora Nakash, Shahar Shapira, Samuel Ariad, Merav A. Ben-David

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To explore how oncology healthcare workers’ (HCPs) personal experiences with suicide impacts their practice with cancer patients. Design: The study was designed using Grounded Theory strategies in data collection and analysis. Participants: Eighteen social workers, 23 oncologists, and 20 nurses, participated in the research. Methods: Themes emerged from systematic line-by-line coding of the interview transcripts. Findings: HCPs reported that personal experiences with suicide: impacted the way they communicated with patients about suicide; made them vigilant about signs of suicidality; and made them aware of specific indicators of this distress. Conclusions: HCPs drew a direct line between their experiences with suicide to the ways in which they care for their patients. Implications: Increasing HCP awareness of these issues alongside training using evidence-based guidelines for identifying and responding to suicide risk in patients will ensure providing the best quality of care for patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)543-556
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Psychosocial Oncology
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2 Sep 2020


FundersFunder number
American Foundation for Suicide Prevention


    • nurses
    • oncologists
    • oncology
    • qualitative research
    • social workers
    • suicide


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