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Suicide Prevention in Gerontology: Evidence-Based Project

Evidence-based project: Gerontology and suicide prevention

The interest in gerontology and suicide prevention programs in gerontologic patients sparked because the importance of this particular area of nursing was realized only throughout the last two decades. This issue can be characterized as pivotal because the treatment of gerontologic patients majorly contributes to the perception of public health and eminence of the latter. One of the other possible reasons why this issue is important is the development of modern technologies that allow us to approach the treatment process in several different ways that were not available 10-15 years ago. This issue perfectly fits within my area of specialization as I am a nurse practitioner working with adult gerontologic patients.

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To me, the issue of an increased number of suicides among geriatric patients who go through the initial stages of such diseases as dementia is critical because it is necessary to find ways to mitigate the adverse psychological and physical implications of this disease and help the patients. One of the research projects in the area that contributes to the controversy was conducted by Kim and Yang (2017). They performed a preventive test and two post-tests to evaluate the benefits of employing a suicide prevention program. The obtained evidence suggests that the latter significantly influenced the overall state of the observed gerontologic patients and reduced their suicidal ideation (Kim & Yang, 2017). The nurses were able to provide social support and maintain the patients’ health status. The existing project will improve outcomes because it will take into account the risk factors associated with suicide and gerontologic patients and become a community-based program intended to preserve gerontologic patients’ health.

The practice issue that is reviewed within the framework of this assignment is the development of a preventive community-based program that will allow the nurses that work with gerontologic patients to decrease the number of suicides committed in the early stages of terminal illnesses. The severity of the problem can be explained by the critical damage that terminal illnesses do to the brain and how these illnesses are perceived by the patients (Kennedy-Malone, Fletcher, & Plank, 2014). On a bigger scale, reviewing this issue within the existing health care environment seems to be an informed decision that is supported by evidence. The research project is aimed at developing a community-based program that will decrease the number of suicides among gerontologic patients. Also, the nurse expects to eradicate the patients’ health illiteracy and provide them with the required knowledge regarding their illness.

One of the supporting aims of the project is to observe how psychological assistance and involvement in different activities can minimize the occurrence of suicidal thoughts. The current project reflects the ideas of evidence-based practice using its unique approach to the issue with gerontologic patients and their self-perception (Kennedy-Malone et al., 2014). The intervention that is proposed by the researcher revolves around the idea that the problems transpire at the cognitive level, so a simple research project will not answer all the questions. Addressing the issue of an increased number of suicides using a community-based program is widely discussed in the existing gerontologic literature, so I believe that there is enough evidence to come up with a decent solution to the problem and my specialization will be a perfect fit for solving this issue. The expected outcome is a decreased number of suicides in terminally ill gerontologic patients.

PICOT: In gerontologic patients (P), what is the effect of a community-based intervention (I) on the occurrence of suicides (O) compared with conventional interventions (C) within the early stages of terminal illnesses (T)?

The significance of this issue can be explained by the fact that a major number of gerontologic patients simply give up and lose hope when they find out that they are terminally ill. Therefore, the mitigation of poor outcomes of dementia or any other terminal illnesses is crucial. If we understand the basic psychologic premises of these illnesses, we will be able to adjust the nursing practice to dealing with this type of problem (Moyle, Parker, & Bramble, 2014). In perspective, this should minimize healthcare costs and reduce negative outcomes in gerontologic patients throughout the early stages of their terminal illnesses. The current project proposal will revolve around the development of a community-based intervention program that will include numerous activities intended to reduce the willingness to commit suicide within a sample of gerontologic patients with terminal illnesses (Richardson & Barusch, 2013). This program is expected to improve general outcomes in gerontologic patients and become an efficient part of the proposed evidence-based nursing project. The problem seamlessly reflects the issues that are inherent in my area of specialization because I am a nurse practitioner and work with adult gerontologic patients. Within the framework of this project, I will address the process model proposed by John Hopkins because it is one of the easiest to understand and it can be employed step by step about both internal and external factors that are backed by education and research.


Kennedy-Malone, L., Fletcher, K. R., & Plank, L. M. (2014). Advanced practice nursing in the care of older adults. Philadelphia, PA: F.A. Davis Company.

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Kim, J., & Yang, J. (2017). Effectiveness of a community-based program for suicide prevention among elders with early-stage dementia: A controlled observational study. Geriatric Nursing, 38(2), 97-105. doi:10.1016/j.gerinurse.2016.08.002.

Moyle, W., Parker, D., & Bramble, M. (2014). Care of older adults: A strengths-based approach. Port Melbourne, Australia: Cambridge University Press.

Richardson, V. E., & Barusch, A. S. (2013). Gerontological practice for the twenty-first century: A social work perspective. New York, NY: Columbia University Press.

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