Study shows promise for teen suicide prevention
Roughly one million people die by suicide each year. In the U.S., where nearly 36,000 people take their own lives annually, more than 4,600 victims are between the ages of 10 and 24, making suicide the third leading cause of death in this age group.
Youths treated at hospital emergency rooms for suicidal behavior remain at very high risk for future suicide attempts. But despite the urgent need to provide them with mental health follow-up care, many don't receive any such care after their discharge. Consequently, a major goal of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service's National Strategy for Suicide Prevention has been to increase rates of follow-up care after discharge for patients who come to the emergency department (ED) due to suicidal behavior.
Now, a new study by UCLA researchers shows that a specialized mental health intervention for suicidal youth can help. Reporting in the November issue of the journal Psychiatric Services, Joan Asarnow, a professor of psychiatry at the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at UCLA, and colleagues show that a family-based intervention conducted while troubled youths were still being treated in the ED led to dramatic improvements in linking these youths to outpatient treatment following their discharge.
"Youths who are treated for suicidal behavior in emergency departments are at very high risk for future attempts," said Asarnow, the study's first author. "Because a large proportion of youths seen in the ED for suicide don't receive outpatient treatment after discharge, the United States National Strategy for Suicide Prevention identifies the ED as an important suicide prevention site. So, a national objective is to increase the rates of mental health follow-up treatment for suicidal patients coming out of EDs."
But how to encourage this with youths when they are at their most vulnerable? The study involved 181 suicidal youths at two EDs in Los Angeles County, with a mean age of 15. Sixty-nine percent were female, and 67 percent were from racial or ethnic minority groups. For 53 percent of the participants, their emergency department visit was due to a suicide attempt. The remainder were seen because they had thoughts of suicide.
The youths were randomly assigned to either the usual ED treatment or an enhanced mental health intervention that involved a family-based crisis-therapy session designed to increase motivation for outpatient follow-up treatment and improve the youths' safety, supplemented by telephone contacts aimed at supporting families in linking to further outpatient treatment.
The results of the study show that the enhanced mental health intervention was associated with higher rates of follow-up treatment. Of the participants in the enhanced intervention, 92 percent received follow-up treatment after discharge, compared with 76 percent in the standard ED treatment arm - a clinically significant difference.
While the results are positive, the study is only a first step, according to Asarnow, who also directs UCLA's Youth Stress and Mood Program.
"The results underscore the urgent need for improved community outpatient treatment for suicidal youths," she said. "Unfortunately, the follow-up data collected at about two months after discharge did not indicate clinical or functioning differences among youths who received community outpatient treatment and those who did not."
Still, Asarnow said, the data from the new study underscores the critical importance of this work. To address the need for effective follow-up treatment for troubled youths, the UCLA Youth Stress and Mood Program has major research trials in progress aimed at evaluating outpatient treatments for preventing suicide and suicide attempts.
Provided by University of California - Los Angeles
- Most suicidal adolescents receive follow-up care after ER visits Oct 01, 2010 | not rated yet | 0
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy for insomnia can reduce suicidal ideation Jun 14, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- Researchers will test suicide prevention program in high schools Sep 07, 2010 | not rated yet | 0
- Canada needs to adopt a national suicide prevention strategy Oct 17, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- A third of LGBT youth suffer mental disorders Dec 01, 2010 | not rated yet | 0
- Motion perception revisited: High Phi effect challenges established motion perception assumptions Apr 23, 2013 | 3 / 5 (2) | 2
- Anything you can do I can do better: Neuromolecular foundations of the superiority illusion (Update) Apr 02, 2013 | 4.5 / 5 (11) | 5
- The visual system as economist: Neural resource allocation in visual adaptation Mar 30, 2013 | 5 / 5 (2) | 9
- Separate lives: Neuronal and organismal lifespans decoupled Mar 27, 2013 | 4.9 / 5 (8) | 0
- Sizing things up: The evolutionary neurobiology of scale invariance Feb 28, 2013 | 4.8 / 5 (10) | 14
How can there be a term called "intestinal metaplasia" of stomach
5 hours ago Hello everyone, Ok Stomach's normal epithelium is simple columnar, now in intestinal type of adenocarcinoma of stomach it undergoes "intestinal...
Pressure-volume curve: Elastic Recoil Pressure don't make sense
May 18, 2013 From pressure-volume curve of the lung and chest wall (attached photo), I don't understand why would the elastic recoil pressure of the lung is...
If you became brain-dead, would you want them to pull the plug?
May 17, 2013 I'd want the rest of me to stay alive. Sure it's a lousy way to live but it beats being all-the-way dead. Maybe if I make it 20 years they'll...
MRI bill question
May 15, 2013 Dear PFers, The hospital gave us a $12k bill for one MRI (head with contrast). The people I talked to at the hospital tell me that they do not...
Ratio of Hydrogen of Oxygen in Dessicated Animal Protein
May 13, 2013 As an experiment, for the past few months I've been consuming at least one portion of Jell-O or unflavored Knox gelatin per day. I'm 64, in very...
Alcohol and acetaminophen
May 13, 2013 Edit: sorry for the typo in the title , can't edit I looked around on google quite a bit and it's very hard to find precise information on the...
- More from Physics Forums - Medical Sciences
More news stories
Youth who had a schoolmate die by suicide are significantly more likely to consider or attempt suicide, according to a study in published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal). This effect can last 2 years or mo ...
Psychology & Psychiatry 17 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0
Johns Hopkins researchers say they have discovered specific chemical alterations in two genes that, when present during pregnancy, reliably predict whether a woman will develop postpartum depression.
Psychology & Psychiatry 8 hours ago | not rated yet | 0 |
A Mediterranean diet with added extra virgin olive oil or mixed nuts seems to improve the brain power of older people better than advising them to follow a low-fat diet, indicates research published online in the Journal of ...
Psychology & Psychiatry 17 hours ago | 2 / 5 (1) | 2
More people are being diagnosed with eating disorders every year and the most common type is not either of the two most well known—bulimia or anorexia—but eating disorders not otherwise specified (eating disorders that ...
Psychology & Psychiatry 17 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
Turns out, that old "practice makes perfect" adage may be overblown. New research led by Michigan State University's Zach Hambrick finds that a copious amount of practice is not enough to explain why people ...
Psychology & Psychiatry 18 hours ago | 3.3 / 5 (12) | 0 |
Australian scientists have charted the path of insulin action in cells in precise detail like never before. This provides a comprehensive blueprint for understanding what goes wrong in diabetes.
1 hour ago | 4.5 / 5 (2) | 0 |
The level of immunity to the recently circulating H7N9 influenza virus in an urban and rural population in Vietnam is very low, according to the first population level study to examine human immunity to the virus, which was ...
40 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0 |
Researchers at Emory University have identified a protein that stimulates a pair of "orphan receptors" found in the brain, solving a long-standing biological puzzle and possibly leading to future treatments for neurological ...
36 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0 |
Widely available in pharmacies and health stores, phosphatidylserine is a natural food supplement produced from beef, oysters, and soy. Proven to improve cognition and slow memory loss, it's a popular treatment for older ...
6 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0 |
In a striking, unexpected discovery, researchers at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University have determined that vitamin C kills drug-resistant tuberculosis (TB) bacteria in laboratory culture. The finding ...
52 minutes ago | 5 / 5 (1) | 0 |
Prostaglandin analogues (PGAs), drugs which lower intraocular pressure, are often the first line of treatment for people with glaucoma, but their use is not without risks. PGAs have long been associated with blurred vision, ...
39 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0