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Suicidal adolescents after hospitalization: parent and family impacts on treatment follow-through.

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1
Department of Psychiatry, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To help determine optimal strategies for treating suicidal adolescents, the authors studied family predictors of compliance with recommended psychotropic medication monitoring, individual therapy, and parent guidance/family therapy sessions.

METHOD:

Sixty-six hospitalized, suicidal adolescents participated in a comprehensive diagnostic evaluation and depression/suicidality assessment. Family/parental assessment measures were the Family Assessment Device, Social Adjustment Inventory for Children and Adolescents (parent-adolescent subscales), Symptom Checklist-90-Revised, and Social Adjustment Scale-Self Report. Follow-up evaluation, 6 months posthospitalization, consisted of structured telephone interviews assessing treatment follow-through.

RESULTS:

Compliance with recommended medication follow-up (66.7%) and individual therapy (50.8%) was better than compliance with parent guidance/family therapy (33.3%) sessions. The most dysfunctional families and those with the least involved/affectionate father-adolescent relationships had the poorest follow-through with parent guidance/family therapy. Mothers' depressive and paranoid symptoms were linked with less adolescent individual therapy and family therapy follow-through. Mothers' hostility was associated with less medication follow-up.

CONCLUSIONS:

Follow-through was best for medication and individual therapy. Multiple family/parental predictors of poor follow-through suggest the need for alternative or supplemental treatment strategies.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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