Cognitive behavioral therapy reduces suicidal ideation in schizophrenia: results from a randomized controlled trial

Suicide Life Threat Behav. 2007 Jun;37(3):284-90. doi: 10.1521/suli.2007.37.3.284.


Patients with schizophrenia are at high risk of suicide. Cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) has been shown to reduce symptoms in schizophrenia. This study examines whether CBT also changes the level of suicidal ideation in patients with schizophrenia compared to a control group. Ninety ambulatory patients with symptoms of schizophrenia resistant to conventional antipsychotic medication were randomized to CBT or befriending. They were assessed using the Comprehensive Psychopathological Rating Scale, including a rating of suicidal ideation at baseline, post intervention, and after 9 months. Post-hoc analysis revealed that CBT provided significant reductions in suicidal ideation at the end of therapy, and sustained at the follow-up. Further research is required to substantiate these findings and determine the process and mechanisms through which this reduction is achieved.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy / methods*
  • Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders
  • Humans
  • Schizophrenia / diagnosis
  • Schizophrenia / epidemiology*
  • Suicide, Attempted / prevention & control*
  • Suicide, Attempted / psychology*