Evaluation of the Impact of the PABBS Suicide Bereavement Training on Clinicians’ Knowledge and Skills: A Pilot Study

Sharon Mcdonnell, Pauline Nelson, Sarah Leonard, Barry McGale, Carolyn Chew-Graham, Nav Kapur, Jennifer Shaw, Shirley Smith, Lis Cordingley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Health-care professionals do not routinely receive training on how best to support parents bereaved by suicide. Evidence-based training – Postvention Assisting Those Bereaved by Suicide (PABBS) – was designed to address this gap. Aims: The study aimed (a) to pilot PABBS training and evaluate its perceived effectiveness (impact on self-reported knowledge, skills and confidence) in managing suicide bereavement; and (b) to explore training acceptability. Method: A pre- and postevaluation design was used. Professionals attended intensive, structured 1-day PABBS training comprising: didactic/interactive teaching; practice-orientated activities supported with real-life materials and a manual/workbook. Evaluation forms completed immediately before and after training analyzed: (a) self-reported changes in knowledge, skills, and confidence (perceived effectiveness of training); and (b) the acceptability of training. Results: In total, 62 professionals completed training. Perceived knowledge, skills, and confidence improved after training as did self-reported understanding, motivation to learn more, and intention to change practice. Training was highly rated, particularly the evidence-based, real-life materials, with some suggestions for improvement. Limitations: Self-selected sample and reliance on self-report measures are the study’s limitations. Conclusion: PABBS training may help address gaps in professionals’ capacity to support parents bereaved by suicide. The evidence-based content was highly acceptable and appeared to be a key ingredient in effecting self-reported changes in attitudes/intentions.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbera000646
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
Early online date10 Jan 2020
Publication statusPublished - 10 Jan 2020


  • evaluation
  • evidence-based training
  • health professionals
  • postvention training
  • suicide bereavement


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