Objective: The main objective of the present study is to examine a number of suicides among Italian doctors. We further compared data from our sample with those of suicide in the general population and in the literature, in order to detect any differences that can provide preventive recommendations. Methods: This is a retrospective study of 60 suicides committed by doctors from 2009 to 2019, in Italy. Results: The sample was constituted mainly by men (77%, 46 cases) aged between 50 and 69 years (70%, n=42). Most of the suicides took place in Northern Italy (50%, n=30). Among known medical specialization, 26% (n=14) concerned general practitioners, the remaining 74% (n=39) were specialized doctors, with a prevalence of anesthetists (9%, n=5), haematologists (8 %, n=4), pediatricians (6%, n=3), psychiatrists (6%, n=3) and oncologists (6%, n=3). Regarding the suicide method, the most used was precipitation (30%, n=16), followed by poisoning/overdose (24%, n=13), firearm (19%, n=10), suffocation/hanging (19%, n=10) and self-induced injuries (8%, n=4)). The most frequent place of suicide is in 35 cases was at home (59%), followed by the hospital (18%; n=11), or others (23%; n=14). When possible, any reported risk factors and predisposing conditions for suicide were studied, and divided into five categories: depression/psychiatric pathology (28%, n=16); other organic disease (8%, n=5); work-related problems (stress, burn-out, mobbing, work-related judicial problems) (20%, n=12); judicial problems unrelated to the medical profession (8%, n=5); family and relationship problems (12%, n=7). Conclusions: The risk factors for suicide in our sample of doctors overlap with data from literature for doctors in western countries. Clinical recommendations and prevention strategies for suicide risk are therefore similar.
[The physician's suicide: study of an Italian sample] / Lorettu, Liliana; Rosso, Stefano; Daga, Irma; Depalmas, Cristiano; Milia, Paolo; Nivoli, Alessandra. - In: RIVISTA DI PSICHIATRIA. - ISSN 0035-6484. - 55:6(2020), pp. 9-14. [10.1708/3504.34900]