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Intervening to Reduce Suicide Risk in Veterans With Substance Use Disorders

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: NCT02439762
Recruitment Status : Completed
First Posted : May 12, 2015
Last Update Posted : July 7, 2021
U.S. Army Medical Research and Development Command
United States Department of Defense
US Department of Veterans Affairs
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Mark A. Ilgen, University of Michigan

Brief Summary:
The purpose of this study is to evaluate the impact of a Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) intervention compared to a Supportive Psycho-educational Control (SPC) condition in reducing the frequency and intensity of suicidal thoughts and behaviors in Veterans with Substance Use Disorders (SUDs) over a two-year follow-up period.

Condition or disease Intervention/treatment Phase
Suicide Suicidal Ideation Substance-Related Disorders Behavioral: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) Behavioral: Supportive Psycho-education (SPC) Not Applicable

Detailed Description:
The project is a multi-site randomized controlled trial of the CBT intervention versus the SPC condition for 300 suicidal Veterans seen in Veterans Health Administration (VHA) intensive outpatient substance treatment programs (SUD IOP). Participants will be screened for current suicidal ideation and other conditions by completing a self-report survey questionnaire. Eligible participants will complete a baseline assessment which will include a self-report survey questionnaire, a research staff administered interview, and a voluntary urine drug screen. Participants will be randomized to either a Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) or Supportive Psycho-education Control (SPC) condition. Both conditions will involve receipt of 8 one-on-one sessions lasting approximately one hour over a period of approximately 3-4 weeks in addition to their standard SUD IOP treatment of care they may be receiving at the VAMC. The intervention is designed to augment their current treatment, not to take the place of current treatment. Participants will be re-assessed immediately after receiving the study interventions (at 1-month) and then again at 3-, 6- 12-, 18-, and 24-month post-intervention follow-ups by completing a series of self-report surveys, researcher administered interviews, and a voluntary urine drug screen. To ensure adequate monitoring of suicidal ideation, additional telephone follow-up assessments will occur 2-, 4-, and 5-months post-intervention.

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Study Type : Interventional  (Clinical Trial)
Actual Enrollment : 300 participants
Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Double (Participant, Investigator)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Actual Study Start Date : July 2015
Actual Primary Completion Date : June 12, 2020
Actual Study Completion Date : June 30, 2021

Resource links provided by the National Library of Medicine

MedlinePlus related topics: Suicide

Arm Intervention/treatment
Experimental: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
The CBT condition will cover topics such as orienting the patient to the cognitive model of suicidal thoughts, plans and behaviors and the role of substance use in increasing the likelihood of suicidal behaviors and presenting tools to help patients better manage responses to suicide-related triggers.
Behavioral: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
The therapeutic intervention group consists of 8, one-hour individual therapy sessions delivered over the course of 3-4 weeks with a trained CBT therapist. These sessions are designed to provide beneficial coping strategies that are helpful in dealing with both substance use and suicidal thoughts.

Active Comparator: Supportive Psycho-education (SPC)
The SPC condition is designed to match the CBT condition in terms of level of attention and the non-specific aspects of receiving support for a suicidal crisis and substance misuse. Specific content related to suicide risk will consist of general information about suicide-related resources available, while content related to substance use is based on a modified psycho-educational attention control treatment for alcoholism. The sessions will help patients to better understand the resources available during a suicidal crisis and how substance use impacts in their life. However, topics related to identifying thoughts and behaviors associated with suicidal crises and possible coping mechanisms will not be a part of the formal content of these SPC sessions.
Behavioral: Supportive Psycho-education (SPC)
This active control condition consists of 8, one-hour individual therapy sessions delivered over the course of 3-4 weeks with a trained therapist. The sessions will provide detailed information about substance use, suicide risk, and depression to those enrolled.

Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. Change in frequency and intensity of suicidal thoughts and suicide attempts [ Time Frame: Change over study time period [Baseline, 1-, 3-, 6-, 12-, 18-, and 24-months] ]
    This will be measured using the Columbia Suicide Severity Rating Scale (CSS-RS) and a modified version of the Time Line Follow-Back (TLFB).

Information from the National Library of Medicine

Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contacts provided below. For general information, Learn About Clinical Studies.

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Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years and older   (Adult, Older Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Must be 18 years of age or older
  • Must be a United States Military Veteran
  • Report current suicidal ideation
  • Enrolled in outpatient substance abuse treatment within the past month
  • Must live within 75 miles of treatment site at time of recruitment

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Inability to give informed, voluntary, written consent
  • Inability to speak and understand English
  • Receipt of methadone treatment for substance use currently or within the past 6 months
  • Evidence of active, severe psychotic symptoms
  • Women who are currently pregnant

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): NCT02439762

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United States, Colorado
Colorado Springs, Colorado Community-Based Outpatient Clinic
Colorado Springs, Colorado, United States, 80907
VA Eastern Colorado Health Care System
Denver, Colorado, United States, 80220
United States, Michigan
VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System
Ann Arbor, Michigan, United States, 48105
Sponsors and Collaborators
University of Michigan
U.S. Army Medical Research and Development Command
United States Department of Defense
US Department of Veterans Affairs
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Responsible Party: Mark A. Ilgen, Associate Professor of Psychiatry, University of Michigan Identifier: NCT02439762    
Other Study ID Numbers: W81XWH 14-1-0005
Log Number 11224006 ( Other Grant/Funding Number: US Army Medical Research and Materiel Command )
First Posted: May 12, 2015    Key Record Dates
Last Update Posted: July 7, 2021
Last Verified: July 2021
Keywords provided by Mark A. Ilgen, University of Michigan:
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Additional relevant MeSH terms:
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Substance-Related Disorders
Suicidal Ideation
Self-Injurious Behavior
Behavioral Symptoms
Chemically-Induced Disorders
Mental Disorders