The Senior Connection: design and rationale of a randomized trial of peer companionship to reduce suicide risk in later life

Contemp Clin Trials. 2013 May;35(1):117-26. doi: 10.1016/j.cct.2013.03.003. Epub 2013 Mar 16.


There is a pressing public health need to find interventions that reduce suicide risk in later life. Psychiatric and physical illness, functional decline, and social factors place seniors at risk for suicide. Reflecting this body of evidence, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has identified the promotion and strengthening of social connectedness, between and within the individual, family, community, and broader societal levels, as a key strategy for suicide prevention. The Senior Connection, a randomized trial of peer companionship for older adults, is described here, with an emphasis on the most novel features of the study design-grounding in a psychological theory of suicide and intervening at an early stage in the suicide risk trajectory by linking primary care patients with the Aging Services Provider Network.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Friends / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations*
  • Peer Group*
  • Risk Factors
  • Social Support
  • Suicide / prevention & control*