Emergent Suicidality in a Clinical Psychotherapy Trial
for Adolescent Depression
Jeffrey A. Bridge, Ph.D., Rémy
P. Barbe, M.D., Boris Birmaher, M.D., David J. Kolko,
Ph.D., and David A. Brent, M.D.
American Journal of Psychiatry - USA
The authors’ goal was to examine the incidence
and predictors of emergent suicidality that occurred during
a clinical trial of psychotherapy for adolescent depression.
The rates and predictors of emergent suicidality
in 88 medication-free depressed adolescent outpatients
who reported no current suicidality during an intake interview
were assessed over 12 to 16 weeks of psychotherapy treatment.
The incidence of emergent suicidality was 12.5%
(11 of 88 subjects). Self-reported suicidal thoughts at
intake were a significant predictor of emergent suicidality,
even when suicidality was denied at intake interview. CONCLUSIONS:
Emergent suicidality is a common occurrence in psychosocial
treatment of adolescent depression, with rates similar
to those reported recently in antidepressant trials. To
evaluate accurately the role of treatment in emergent suicidality,
it is important to assess self-reported suicidality at
intake and to balance treatment groups on this key predictor
of emergent suicidality.