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J41 Suicidality In Huntington’s Disease: A Qualitative Study On Coping Strategies And Treatment Options
  1. AAM Hubers1,
  2. A Hamming1,
  3. EJ Giltay1,
  4. M von Faber2,
  5. RAC Roos3,
  6. RC van der Mast1,
  7. E van Duijn1,4
  1. 1Department of Psychiatry, Leiden University Medical Center, PO Box 9600, 2300 RC Leiden, The Netherlands
  2. 2Department of Public Health and Primary Care, Leiden University Medical Center, PO Box 9600, 2300 RC Leiden, The Netherlands
  3. 3Department of Neurology, Leiden University Medical Center, PO Box 9600, 2300 RC Leiden, The Netherlands
  4. 4Center for Mental Health Care Delfland, PO Box 5016, 2600 GA Delft, The Netherlands

Abstract

Background Suicidal ideation, suicide attempts, and completed suicide are critical clinical phenomena of Huntington’s disease (HD) and are especially frequent in certain high risk groups. However, there is no previous research on coping strategies or treatments that can be offered to HD mutation carriers who struggle with suicidal ideation or previous suicide attempts.

Aims To explore how HD mutation carriers cope with suicidal ideation or previous suicide attempts. Furthermore, we want to investigate which ideas and wishes HD mutation carries have on how relatives and healthcare professionals can help them in coping with suicidality.

Methods In this qualitative study 12 HD mutation carriers who experienced suicidal ideation or attempted suicide participated in an in-depth individual or focus group interview. Interviews were transcribed verbatim and the analysis consisted of fragmenting, coding, and connecting the data into emerging themes involving close examination and constant comparison of the transcripts.

Results During the conference, preliminary results on strategies used by HD mutation carriers to cope with suicidality and their positive and negative experiences with support from relatives and healthcare professionals will be presented. In addition, ideas of HD mutation carriers on how suicidal HD mutation carriers could be supported are offered.

Conclusions Strategies are presented that may aid to optimise care for suicidal HD mutation carriers.

KeyWords
  • suicidality
  • treatment
  • qualitative study
  • Genetic testing and counselling

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