An Exploration of the role of Mental Health Occupational Therapists Working with Elderly People who present with Suicidal Ideation
(2013) An Exploration of the role of Mental Health Occupational Therapists Working with Elderly People who present with Suicidal Ideation.
Elderly suicide has been highlighted as a major growing concern for modern healthcare. Suicide rates of people over 65 are the highest of all age groups, and this is set to increase radically with the aging population. A literature review presents the current status of elderly suicide in the context of this aging population, and one of the most significant independent predictors of elderly suicide: lack of perceived social support. The role of occupational therapy is discussed with regards to elderly suicide prevention, with an emphasis on the significant lack of literature on the topic. This paper seeks to identify current occupational therapy practice within elderly suicide prevention, and provide valuable information on the potential role of occupational therapy, in a bid to establish an occupational therapy evidence base for practice within this area. A phenomenological qualitative study is proposed utilising semi-structured interviews to explore the experiences and perceptions of six occupational therapists working in elderly psychiatric settings. Data will be analysed using thematic analysis, employing member checking and the use of a reflexive diary to ensure rigour and trustworthiness is maintained throughout.