Background: The Amager Project was initiated as a quasi-experimental study in 2005, based on an active outreach suicide preventive intervention inspired by the Norwegian Baerum Model. A 1-year follow-up study was conducted as a randomized controlled trial showing that this kind of active outreach to suicide attempters had a significant preventive effect on the prevalence of suicide attempts and significantly reduced the number of patients repeating a suicide attempt.
Aims: In this 5-year RCT follow-up the aim was to investigate the sustainability of the suicide preventive effect shown in a 1-year follow-up study.
Method: One hundred and thirty-three suicide attempters were included at this 5-year follow-up RCT study at Copenhagen University Hospital, Amager, and randomized to a rapid outreach suicide preventive intervention (OPAC) or TAU.
Results: Offering OPAC intervention to patients after a suicide attempt has a significant preventive effect on the total of suicide attempts and significantly reduces the number of patients repeating a suicide attempt. The suicide preventive effect lasts up to 265 weeks. After 3-4 years the effect on the number of patients repeating a suicide attempt is no longer sustainable, while the effect on the number of repetitive events remains significant.
Conclusion: This study emphasizes the importance of a rapid and active outreach intervention and points out that the effect on the number of patients repeating a suicide attempt wears off and is no longer sustainable after 3-4 years, suggesting the need for a follow-up intervention.
Keywords: Suicide; effectiveness research; follow-up; prevention; randomized controlled trial.