Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Study shows promise for teen suicide prevention

03.11.2011
Roughly 1 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.

###
Funding for the study was provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Institute of Mental Health and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

Other authors included Larry Baraff, Robert Suddath, John Piacentini, Mary Jane Rotheram-Borus and Lingqi Tang, all of UCLA; Michele Berk and Charles Grob of Harbor–UCLA Medical Center, Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute; Mona Devich-Navarro of Santa Monica College; and Daniel Cohen of Johns Hopkins University.

Asarnow reports receiving honoraria from Hathaways-Sycamores, Casa Pacifica, the California Institute of Mental Health and the Melissa Institute. Piacentini has received royalties from Oxford University Press for treatment manuals and from Guilford Press and the American Psychological Association Press for books on child mental health. In addition, he has received a consultancy fee from Bayer Schering Pharma. The other authors report no competing interests.

The UCLA Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences is the home within the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA for faculty who are experts in the origins and treatment of disorders of complex human behavior. The department is part of the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at UCLA, a world-leading interdisciplinary research and education institute devoted to the understanding of complex human behavior and the causes and consequences of neuropsychiatric disorders.

For more news, visit the UCLA Newsroom and follow us on Twitter.

Mark Wheeler | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.mednet.ucla.edu

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht The importance of biodiversity in forests could increase due to climate change
17.11.2017 | Deutsches Zentrum für integrative Biodiversitätsforschung (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig

nachricht Win-win strategies for climate and food security
02.10.2017 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: A “cosmic snake” reveals the structure of remote galaxies

The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.

Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...

Im Focus: Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ

Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.

That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...

Im Focus: Novel Nano-CT device creates high-resolution 3D-X-rays of tiny velvet worm legs

Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.

During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....

Im Focus: Researchers Develop Data Bus for Quantum Computer

The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.

Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...

Im Focus: Wrinkles give heat a jolt in pillared graphene

Rice University researchers test 3-D carbon nanostructures' thermal transport abilities

Pillared graphene would transfer heat better if the theoretical material had a few asymmetric junctions that caused wrinkles, according to Rice University...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Ecology Across Borders: International conference brings together 1,500 ecologists

15.11.2017 | Event News

Road into laboratory: Users discuss biaxial fatigue-testing for car and truck wheel

15.11.2017 | Event News

#Berlin5GWeek: The right network for Industry 4.0

30.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

NASA detects solar flare pulses at Sun and Earth

17.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

NIST scientists discover how to switch liver cancer cell growth from 2-D to 3-D structures

17.11.2017 | Health and Medicine

The importance of biodiversity in forests could increase due to climate change

17.11.2017 | Studies and Analyses

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>