Family Therapy as Hospital Aftercare for Adolescent Suicide Attempters

The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Read our disclaimer for details. Identifier: NCT01195740
Recruitment Status : Completed
First Posted : September 6, 2010
Last Update Posted : December 17, 2012
American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Children's Hospital of Philadelphia

Brief Summary:
Few empirically-based treatment models exist for adolescent suicide attempters post psychiatric hospitalization, despite the fact that managed care has limited the role of hospitalization to stabilization, rather than remission. This study will test the efficacy and initial outcomes of Attachment Based Family Therapy (ABFT) as an aftercare model to further gains made in inpatient treatment and reduce risk factors for future suicide attempts.

Condition or disease Intervention/treatment Phase
Suicide Ideation Depression Family Conflict Behavioral: Attachment Based Family Therapy Behavioral: Enhanced Usual Care Phase 2

  Show Detailed Description

Study Type : Interventional  (Clinical Trial)
Actual Enrollment : 20 participants
Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: None (Open Label)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: Family Therapy as Hospital Aftercare for Adolescent Suicide Attempters
Study Start Date : July 2008
Actual Primary Completion Date : November 2011
Actual Study Completion Date : November 2011

Resource links provided by the National Library of Medicine

U.S. FDA Resources

Arm Intervention/treatment
Experimental: Attachment Based Family Therapy Behavioral: Attachment Based Family Therapy
ABFT has three phases. In phase one, treatment focuses on helping the adolescent identify past and present family conflicts that have strained the attachment bond and damaged trust. Adolescents and parents are taught new communication and affect regulation skills in preparation for reparative conversations in phase two. This phase of treatment involves adolescents and parents discussing these past and present conflicts using their new communication skills. The final phase of treatment focuses on promoting adolescent autonomy (i.e., improving school productivity, finding a job, etc.). For the suicidal/depressed adolescent, this can decrease isolation and increase exposure to positive experiences. To accomplish these goals, there are five ABFT treatment tasks. Each task may take one or several sessions. Youth randomized to this condition will receive approximately 14 weeks of ABFT. One orientation meeting will occur, whenever possible, on the inpatient unit prior to discharge.
Other Names:
  • Attached Based Family Therapy
  • ABFT
Active Comparator: Enhanced Usual Care Behavioral: Enhanced Usual Care
Belmont offers the Therapeutic Bridge Program, funded by the Pew Charitable Trusts, which helps adolescents make the transition from the hospital back to home, school and community behavioral health services. The program serves as a "bridge" between inpatient and outpatient care during the first 90 days after discharge, linking them to supportive services. Aftercare begins at the point of intake. Several discharge planning meetings are held with the adolescent and parents during the inpatient stay. The range of services are based on the patient and families' need, and may include meeting with school personnel , conducting home visits or making referrals to other community services agencies. The main objective is to secure outpatient mental health services for the patient. These services will be enhanced by the weekly research tracking, assessment and 24-hour crisis phone line which will call into a cell phone rotated among the licensed mental health professionals on the research team.

Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. Client Satisfaction Questionnaire (CSQ) [ Time Frame: 14 weeks ]
    The CSQ is a 31 item questionnaire with responses on a 4-point scale. There are no subscales, and a total score is computed by summing scores across items. Higher scores indicate higher levels of satisfaction. In a variety of studies, the CSQ has demonstrated good internal consistency and predictive validity and has been reviewed favorably by several independent sources (Attkisson & Greenfield, 1994; Ogles et al., 2002). The CSQ has 8 items, and takes approximately 5 minutes to complete

  2. Cornell Services Index (CSI) [ Time Frame: baseline, 14 weeks ]
    The CSI is a self-report measure of medical and psychological services received (treatment utilization). We will complete information on type of provider, site of service, time to first session, and frequency of service, psychiatric assessments, pharmacotherapy, and individual and family therapy. The Cornell Services Index has been found to have good test-retest and interrater reliability. The Cornell has 32 items, and takes approximately 10 minutes to complete.

Secondary Outcome Measures :
  1. Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) [ Time Frame: baseline, weekly, 14 weeks ]
    The second edition of the BDI is a widely-used, 21-item self-report instrument designed to assess the severity of depressive symptoms in adults and adolescents. The BDI-II has high internal reliability (alpha = .91) and is highly and positively correlated with other measures of depression. The sensitivity and specificity for detecting depression in psychiatric patients has been established. With the original BDI, we found an alpha of .85 for 97 African American adolescents screened for a depression treatment pilot study. The BDI-II has 21 items, and takes approximately 5 minutes to complete.

  2. Relatedness Scale (RS) [ Time Frame: baseline, 14 weeks ]
    The relatedness scale is a 23-item measure assessing the relationships between children and their mother and father. There are two subscales: psychological proximity and emotional quality of the relationship. The psychological proximity seeking section of the measure has 12 statements each with a four point likert scale ranging from not at all true to very true. Similarly, the emotional quality section has 11 statements with a four-point response set ranging from almost never to almost always. The total score for the measure is the sum of the responses in each section.

  3. Relationship Structures Questionnaire (RSQ) [ Time Frame: Baseline, 14 weeks ]
    The RS is a self-report measure assessing attachment patterns in four domains: mother, father, romantic partner, and best friend. Each domain has ten items assessed on a 7-point likert scale ranging from strongly disagree to strongly agree. Each domain generates two scores: one for attachment related avoidance and the other for attachment related anxiety. The RS measures one component of attachment (i.e., avoidance and anxiety), which is a central change mechanism of ABFT.

  4. Suicide Ideation Questionnaire (SIQ-JR) [ Time Frame: baseline, weekly, 14 weeks ]
    The SIQ-JR is a 15-item version of the Suicidal Ideation Questionnaire. It is based on Reynolds' theoretical notion of suicidality forming a continuum ranging from thoughts of death, thoughts of wanting to be dead, general and specific suicidal plans, preparations for carrying out plans, and actual suicide attempts. It was originally designed for younger adolescents but has been frequently used in studies with older adolescents.

  5. Columbia Suicide-Severity Scale (C-SSRS) [ Time Frame: baseline, 14 weeks (if attempt made during treatment) ]
    The C-SSRS is an interview-based rating scale designed to create a topology of suicidal behavior and ideation. It assesses type of behavior, lethality of suicide attempts, and suicidal ideation, each scored as independent continuous measures. The C-SSRS is the prospective counterpart to the FDA suicide reclassification analysis and is currently being used in the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)funded multi-site trial, Treatment of Adolescent Suicide Attempters (TASA). The C-SSRS has 26 items

  6. Suicide Intent Scale (SIS) [ Time Frame: baseline, weekly and 14 week as needed ]
    The SIS is a 20-item, interviewer-administered assessment of the intensity of the attempter's wish to die at the time of the index attempt. Major constructs of the SIS have been found to be predictive both of future suicide attempts and suicide completions. The SIS has 20 items, and takes approximately 10 minutes to complete. The SIS is only given at the weekly and post treatment assessments if there has been a suicide attempt since the last assessment.

  7. Lethality of Suicide Attempt Rating Scale [ Time Frame: baseline, weekly and 14 weeks as needed ]
    Lethality of past suicide attempts will be assessed using this 11-item scale that assesses the medical lethality of attempts. The scale has high inter-rater reliability, excellent six-month test-retest reliability, and evidence of concurrent validity. The Lethality Scale has 7 items, and takes approximately 7 minutes to complete. The Lethality Scale is only given at the weekly and post treatment assessments if there has been a suicide attempt since the last assessment.

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Ages Eligible for Study:   12 Years to 17 Years   (Child)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria:

  • in inpatient mental health treatment
  • report a suicide attempt in the past month
  • have a primary caretaker willing to participate in aftercare
  • are able to travel to CHOP
  • have no history of psychosis or low intellectual capacity
  • speak adequate English.

Exclusion Criteria:

  • being discharged to a residential placement

Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its identifier (NCT number): NCT01195740

United States, Pennsylvania
Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States, 19104
Sponsors and Collaborators
Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
Principal Investigator: Guy S. Diamond, PhD Children's Hospital of Philadelphia

Publications of Results:
Diamond GS, Levy S. Bindungsorientierte Familientherapie als ambulante Nachsoge fur Jugendliche nach Suizidversuch. Psychotherapie im Dialog 13: 41-45, 2012.

Responsible Party: Children's Hospital of Philadelphia Identifier: NCT01195740     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: 08-006296
First Posted: September 6, 2010    Key Record Dates
Last Update Posted: December 17, 2012
Last Verified: December 2012

Keywords provided by Children's Hospital of Philadelphia:
Suicide Ideation
Family Conflict

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Behavioral Symptoms
Self-Injurious Behavior