Dementia and its relationship with suicidality: A critical interpretive synthesis
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This article used a critical interpretive synthesis model which interpreted data associated with the subject of suicidality in dementia. A sample frame was used to determine the quality and relevance of extracted data, and finally to construct a critical interpretive synthesis. Data were extracted from eight key papers. Results The review and synthesis concluded with eight synthetic constructs, and two concluding synthesised arguments. Argument one was the substantial increased risk of suicidality in people diagnosed with dementia and clinical depression. The second argument was that end-of-life discussions are common place in people with a dementia diagnosis and their families. Conclusion Death remains a difficult subject for some to discuss, especially when talking about suicidality. Nevertheless, having these conversations is possible, even when there are added complexities that a dementia diagnosis can bring. These conversations do, however, need to be individualized and measured. And, whilst respecting the person’s pre-morbid wishes, advance decisions and ethics of choice, we also need to consider the ongoing arguments of the ‘right to life’ versus the ‘right to die’. However, before these conversations can take place, additional suicidality risk factors such as a new and early dementia diagnosis and mental health comorbidities such as depression need to be acknowledged and addressed.
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