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Mental health
Oncology nurses need more education and support to help reduce suicide rates in patients with cancer
  1. Bonnie McKay Harmer
  1. Nursing, Saginaw Valley State University, University Center, Michigan, USA
  1. Correspondence to Professor Bonnie McKay Harmer, Nursing, Saginaw Valley State University, University Center, MI 48710, USA; bmharmer{at}

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Commentary on: Öztürk S, Hiçdurmaz D. A qualitative study on the perspectives and needs of oncology nurses about recognition and management of suicide risk in cancer patients. J Clin Nurs. 2022 Mar 27. doi: 10.1111/jocn.16304.

Implications for practice and research

  • Oncology nurses should recognise suicide risk factors and incorporate appropriate knowledge, skills and attitudes to screen for suicidality.

  • Future research should investigate the efficacy of different educational strategies to improve competency, collaboration and institutional commitment to suicide reduction in oncology


Suicide risk is heightened in the weeks to months immediately following cancer diagnosis.1 Some types, stages and locations of cancer are associated with higher suicide risk.1 Oncology nurses have frequent patient interactions with opportunities to recognise and mitigate suicide risk. Some research suggests barriers …

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  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.