Effects of focused continuing pharmacy education on pharmacists’ attitudes toward suicide prevention


  • Marshall E Cates Samford University McWhorter School of Pharmacy
  • Anne-Claire Thomas Orlando VA Medical Center, Crossroads Annex, Winter Park, Florida
  • Peter J Hughes Samford University McWhorter School of Pharmacy, Birmingham, Alabama
  • Thomas W Woolley Samford University Brock School of Business, Birmingham, Alabama


Attitudes, Continuing Education, Pharmacists, Suicide


Background: Pharmacists are ideally situated to be involved in suicide prevention, but little is known about their

attitudes toward suicide prevention.

Aims: To determine whether continuing pharmacy education (CPE) focused on suicide and its prevention would positively affect pharmacists’ attitudes toward suicide prevention.

Methods: A one-hour presentation on suicide and suicide prevention was developed for a school-sponsored CPE activity. Pharmacists who attended the CPE activity were asked to complete an online survey that included the Attitudes to Suicide Prevention (ASP) scale before and after the educational activity.

Results: The survey was completed by 99/173 (57%) pharmacists before the CPE activity and 87/173 (50%) pharmacists after the CPE activity. The mean ASP total score decreased from 33.1 +/- 4.3 to 30.0 +/- 6.6 (p<0.001), and 6 of 14 individual items were statistically significantly improved.

Conclusion: Focused CPE had a positive impact on pharmacists’ attitudes toward suicide prevention. Future methodologically rigorous studies are warranted. 

Author Biographies

Marshall E Cates, Samford University McWhorter School of Pharmacy

Professor of Pharmacy Practice

Anne-Claire Thomas, Orlando VA Medical Center, Crossroads Annex, Winter Park, Florida


Peter J Hughes, Samford University McWhorter School of Pharmacy, Birmingham, Alabama


Thomas W Woolley, Samford University Brock School of Business, Birmingham, Alabama



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Research Article