Cindy Claassen, Ph.D., University of Texas
Standard Research Grant (2008): $63,750
Does the Nature of Treatment Provided After a Suicide Attempt Impact the Risk of Repetition
Abstract: Although studies in Europe have found that a psychiatric consultation provided shortly after a suicide attempt reduces the risk of a subsequent attempt, no large-scale American study has corroborated this finding. This study will seek to examine the impact of post-attempt treatment on subsequent suicidal behavior, using a large dataset containing medical records for an estimated 150,000 consecutive, intentional self-harm episodes treated in emergency department (ED) and inpatient settings in 11 different states during 2004-2005. The analysis will begin by systematic identification of probable suicide attempts among the self-harm episodes. These cases will then be tracked to determine post-attempt treatment and all reattempts within the following 12 months. The investigator seeks in particular to identify the nature of post-attempt care that is related to the lowest reattempt rates, which will suggest recommended treatment strategies for implementation by hospital ERs and inpatient units during the critical period immediately after a suicide attempt.