Objective: Because changes to pediatric emergency medicine (PEM) education may help address barriers to youth suicide risk screening programs, this study aimed to understand the impact of formal training in areas that likely include suicide-related practices, developmental-behavioral pediatrics (DBP) and adolescent medicine (AM), on PEM physician-perceived level of training, attitudes, and confidence assessing and managing youth suicide risk.
Methods: Twenty-seven PEM attendings and trainees completed an online survey and were divided into 2 groups: those who had completed DBP and AM rotations (DBP/AM+; n = 20) and those who had not completed either rotation (DBP/AM-; n = 7). We compared perceived level of training, attitudes, and confidence in assessing and managing suicide risk across groups. We also examined the relationship between perceived level of training and confidence. Finally, we conducted exploratory analyses to evaluate the effect of an additional formal rotation in child psychiatry.
Results: The DBP/AM+ and DBP/AM- groups did not differ on perceived level of training or on attitudes and confidence in suicide risk assessment or management. Perceived level of training in assessment and management predicted confidence in both assessing and managing suicide risk. Additional training in child psychiatry was not associated with increased perceived level of training or confidence.
Conclusions: The DBP and AM rotations were not associated with higher perceived levels of suicide risk training or greater confidence; however, perceived level of training predicted physician confidence, suggesting continued efforts to enhance formal PEM education in mental health would be beneficial.