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Suicide Life Threat Behav. 1977 Spring;7(1):17-20.

A follow-up program for suicide attempters: evaluation of effectiveness.


Suicide attempters are a high-risk group in relation to ultimately completing suicide and are usually "treated and released" with little or no follow-up care. A 4-month follow-up outreach program for suicide attempters seen in the emergency room was developed with an emphasis on continuity and quantity of "treatment" received. Suicide attempters were randomly assigned to the "follow-up outreach" or "normal" treatment programs. Measures for the evaluation of effectiveness were (a) incidence of suicide reattempts and purposive accidents and (b) prevalence of drug misuse and excessive use of alcohol. The experimental group showed a statistically significant reduction in suicide reattempts and excessive use of alcohol, while the reduction of drug abuse, although not statistically significant, did conform to a trend indicating improvement. Purposive accidents occured at a relatively equal rate among both groups.

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