Preventing suicide: nurse education and the occluded issue of gender

Stewart Kerr, Colin Martin, Mick Fleming

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
189 Downloads (Pure)


Suicide prevention training recommended as part of national suicidal strategies across the UK has contributed to a reduction in suicide. Previous studies have found suicide prevention training changes attitude and increases confidence in ability to utilise suicide prevention strategies. There is limited evidence relating to the different responses to suicide prevention training by females and males. As the majority of nurses are female it is important to know if they report the same increases in confidence after suicide prevention training.

An exploratory study utilising a survey design and repeated measures was used to investigate the effect of SafeTALK training on the level of general perceived self-efficacy (GPSE) in student nurses and to observe for any gender-related differences.

A sample (N = 128) of first year student nurses were asked to complete a GPSE assessment pre and post SafeTALK training. Males reported higher scores on both total pre and post-training scores of GPSE and on mean scores per question compared to females.

An effect of time (F (1, 118) = 20.07, p = .001) but no effect of gender (F (1, 118) = 3.53, p = .06) was found. A post-hoc sample size calculation revealed that a replication of the current investigation with a sample size of N = 15 (males), N = 155 (females), would be likely to find a statistically significant difference between genders in GPSE scores. It may be prudent to consider joint facilitation, with both male and female facilitators of SafeTALK training sessions. Specific pedagogical strategies can also be used to promote an increase in self-efficacy in those people undertaking SafeTALK training.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)58-63
Number of pages6
JournalNurse Education in Practice
Early online date7 Jul 2018
Publication statusPublished - 30 Sep 2018


  • Suicide prevention
  • SafeTALK
  • Self-efficacy
  • Gender


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