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Suicide Life Threat Behav. 1998 Summer;28(2):197-204.

Inadequate response to therapy as a predictor of suicide.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia 19104-2648, USA.


The role of response to cognitive therapy as a predictor of suicide was investigated by comparing 17 outpatients with mood disorders who committed suicide with 17 matched patients who did not commit suicide. The suiciders attended significantly fewer sessions of cognitive therapy and dropped out of therapy more frequently: 88% of the suiciders, compared to 53% of the controls, were rated by their therapists as requiring more treatment at termination. They also had higher levels of hopelessness at the termination of therapy. The results suggest that premature termination of therapy and inadequate response to treatment have unfavorable prognostic significance for eventual suicide.

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