Problem-solving therapy for suicide prevention in veterans with moderate-to-severe traumatic brain injury

Rehabil Psychol. 2017 Nov;62(4):600-608. doi: 10.1037/rep0000154. Epub 2017 Aug 10.


Objective: Develop and test the acceptability and feasibility of Problem-Solving Therapy for Suicide Prevention (PST-SP), a group intervention aimed at improving problem solving and preventing suicide, among Veterans with hopelessness and moderate-to-severe traumatic brain injury (TBI).

Research method: Following treatment development, 16 U.S. Veterans with moderate-to-severe TBI and a Beck Hopelessness Scale score ≥4 participated in an acceptability and feasibility pilot study of PST-SP at a Veterans Affairs Medical Center. Participants completed the Client Satisfaction Questionnaire-8 (CSQ-8) and Narrative Evaluation of Intervention Interview (NEII) after participating in PST-SP.

Results: PST-SP was developed for Veterans with moderate-to-severe TBI and hopelessness. 75% (n = 12) of participants enrolled in the pilot study attended ≥80% of PST-SP sessions. Participants reported high satisfaction with PST-SP (CSQ-8 M = 27.8 out of 32; SD = 4.78; range 14-32) and described the intervention as valuable, beneficial, and without negative effects (NEII).

Conclusions/implications: Results from measures of acceptability and attendance suggest that PST-SP is an acceptable and feasible intervention for Veterans with hopelessness and moderate-to-severe TBI. Findings support readiness to examine efficacy of the intervention in a Phase II randomized controlled trial. (PsycINFO Database Record

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Brain Injuries, Traumatic / psychology*
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Problem Solving*
  • Psychotherapy / methods*
  • Psychotherapy, Group / methods*
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Suicide / psychology
  • Suicide Prevention*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Veterans / psychology*
  • Veterans / statistics & numerical data