Guy Diamond, Ph.D., Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
Distinguished Investigator Grant (2008): $85,000
Family Therapy for Hospital Care
Abstract: Despite the fact that managed care has limited inpatient treatment of seriously suicidal adolescents, there are few empirically-supported clinical services programs available for post-hospitalization care of this population. In this study, the investigators will collaborate with the adolescent inpatient unit of a psychiatric hospital in Philadelphia to test the efficacy, acceptability and feasibility of Attachment Based Family Therapy (ABFT) as an aftercare treatment for youth who have been hospitalized following a suicide attempt. Ten such adolescents will be randomly assigned to 12 weeks of treatment with ABFT, which centers on strengthening family relationships, while 10 others will receive a comparable period of treatment as usual. Subsequently, all youth will be assessed to determine reductions in suicidal ideation, behavior problems and family conflict, and improvements in adaptive functioning. It is hoped that promising results obtained in this small study will lead to NIMH funding to support a larger, randomized clinical trial of ABFT.