Impact on prisoners of participating in research interviews related to near-lethal suicide attempts

Rivlin, Adrienne, Marzano, Lisa ORCID logoORCID:, Hawton, Keith and Fazel, Seena (2012) Impact on prisoners of participating in research interviews related to near-lethal suicide attempts. Journal of Affective Disorders, 136 (1) . pp. 54-62. ISSN 0165-0327 [Article] (doi:10.1016/j.jad.2011.09.009)


Background: Prisoners have a high risk of suicide. Research studies have investigated factors
contributing to this, some through interviews with survivors of suicide attempts, others with
informants such as family and friends of suicide victims. However, there is little information
regarding the effects of participating in such interviews.
Aims: To investigate the effects on participants of taking part in detailed interviews about suicidal
behaviour and contributory factors.
Method: Case–control studies of 120 prisoners who made near-lethal suicide attempts (cases)
and 120 prisoners who had never carried out near-lethal suicide attempts in prison (controls)
were conducted. Information regarding effects on prisoners of participating in the interviews
was collected using quantitative and qualitative methods.
Results: For both male cases and controls, and female controls, self-reported mood levels improved
significantly by the end of the interviews. For female cases, the interviews had no negative
effect on their self-reported mood. Whilst some prisoners found the interviews upsetting,
nearly all said they were pleased to have participated.
Limitations: The same researchers carried out the interviews and collected data on the effects
of participation. Also, several potential participants were excluded from the study and the likely
effect of the interview on them is unknown.
Conclusions: We found little evidence that participation of prisoners in interview-based research
on suicidal behaviour has negative effects on them; indeed, it can be beneficial. Inclusion
of similar instruments to measure the effects of research participation in future
investigations could provide valuable feedback to researchers and ethics committees.

Item Type: Article
Research Areas: A. > School of Science and Technology > Psychology
A. > School of Science and Technology > Psychology > Forensic Psychology Research Group
Item ID: 10080
Useful Links:
Depositing User: Lisa Marzano
Date Deposited: 07 Feb 2013 08:05
Last Modified: 13 Oct 2016 14:26

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