Effectiveness of cognitive-behavioral therapy in decreasing suicidal ideation and hopelessness of the adolescents with previous suicidal attempts

Iran J Pediatr. 2013 Aug;23(4):467-72.


Objective: To evaluate the effectiveness of a Cognitive-Behavioral therapy (CBT) for suicide prevention in decreasing suicidal ideation and hopelessness in a sample of depressed 12 to 18 year-old adolescents who had at least one previous suicidal attempt.

Methods: In a clinical trial, 30 depressed adolescents who attempted suicide in the recent 3 months were selected using simple sampling method and divided randomly into intervention and wait-list control groups. Both groups received psychiatric interventions as routine. The intervention group received a 12 session (once a week) of CBT program according to the package developed by Stanley et al, including psychoeducational interventions and individual and family skills training modules. All of the patients were evaluated by Scale for Suicidal Ideation, Beck's hopelessness Inventory, and Beck's Depression Inventory before the intervention and after 12 weeks.

Findings: There were significant differences between the two groups regarding the scores of the above mentioned scales after 12 weeks. Fifty-four to 77 percent decreases in the mean scores of the used scales were observed in the invention group. There were no significant changes in the scores of the control wait-list group. The differences between pre- and post-intervention scores in the intervention group were significant.

Conclusion: CBT is an effective method in reducing suicidal ideation and hopelessness in the depressed adolescents with previous suicidal attempts.

Keywords: Adolescents; Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy; Depression; Hopelessness; Suicidal Idea; Suicide.