Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Counseling and Psychology, University of Kurdistan, Kurdistan, Iran

2 Pregnancy Health Research Center, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Zahedan University of Medical Sciences, Zahedan, Iran


BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE: Unless mental health care is provided to suicide attempters
after discharge from the emergency department, suicide prevention opportunities may be lost. The
purpose of this study was to determine the effect of motivational interviewing (MI)‑based training on
using mental health services and reducing the severity of suicidal thoughts.
METHODS: This quasi‑experimental study was performed on seventy suicide attempters who had
been admitted to the emergency department of three university hospitals in Southeast Iran in 2019.
Eligible patients were chosen through convenience sampling, and they were randomly divided into the
experimental (n = 35) and control (n = 35) groups. The intervention group received three MI sessions
on the day of discharge and the 1st week after discharge. Twelve weeks after the intervention, the
Beck Scale for Suicidal Ideation and the using mental health services were completed in both the
groups. Data were analyzed using Chi‑squared test, independent t‑test, and paired t‑test.
RESULTS: While there was no significant difference between the two groups in terms of the mean
score of suicidal ideation on the pretest, the experimental group experienced a significant decrease
in this respect at the end of the study; thus, this group scored 8.86 ± 5.30, which is considerably
lower than that obtained in the control group (15.85 ± 6.65) (P = 0.0001). Furthermore, at the end of
the study, the rate of using mental health services increased much more in the experimental group
than in the control group (P = 0.01).
CONCLUSION: MI training had a significant positive impact on mitigating suicidal ideation and
promoting mental health services use. To improve mental health and to better serve suicidal
individuals, it is recommended that short‑term interventions be developed in the form of post‑discharge
education for suicidal patients admitted to the emergency department.


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