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Mental health
Risk of suicidal thinking in caregivers of people with dementia should be assessed and monitored by health professionals
  1. Ben Parkinson
  1. Nursing and Community Health, Glasgow Caledonian University, Glasgow, UK
  1. Correspondence to Mr. Ben Parkinson, Glasgow Caledonian University, Glasgow G4 0BA, UK; ben.parkinson{at}

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Commentary on: Joling KJ, O’dwyer ST, Hertogh CM, et al. The occurrence and persistence of thoughts of suicide, self-harm and death in family caregivers of people with dementia: a longitudinal data analysis over 2 years. International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry 2018;33:263–70.

Implications for practice and research

  • This research provides further evidence of the importance of asking carers about their mental health and whether they experience suicidal thoughts.

  • Researchers should add to this work by exploring the relationship between suicidal thinking, planning, intent and attempts at suicide for caregivers for people living with dementia.


The number of people with dementia and being cared for by family caregivers in the community is growing.1 Behavioural and psychological issues associated with dementia make the caregiver’s role potentially burdensome and mean some caregivers experience mental health difficulties and/or suicidal ideation. …

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  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.