Primary Outcome Measures:
- Suicidal Ideation; measured at Months 1, 3, 6, 12, 18, and 24
Secondary Outcome Measures:
- Depression; measured at Months 1, 3, 6, 12, 18, and 24
- Hopelessness; measured at Months 1, 3, 6, 12, 18, and 24
- Perceived Social Support; measured at Months 1, 3, 6, 12, 18, and 24
Older adult males have the highest suicide rate of any age group in the U.S. Over 70 percent of older suicide victims have been to their primary care physician within a month of their death, many with a depressive illness that was not detected. However, most research concerning treatments for suicide ideation and behavior has focused on adolescents and young adults. Very few treatments have been developed to reduce suicide ideation and behavior in men aged 60 and above. This study will assess the effectiveness of specialized cognitive therapy versus typical treatment in treating older men with suicide ideation.
Participants in this two-year, single-blind study will be randomly assigned to receive either cognitive therapy combined with enriched care or enriched care alone. Participants will be identified in primary care settings as having experienced suicide ideation in the past month. Cognitive therapy will be provided by Ph.D.-level therapists and will be geared specifically toward older men with suicidal tendencies. The enriched care condition will consist of the usual care that individuals receive for suicide prevention, plus assessment and referral services provided by independent evaluators and study case managers. All participants will be assessed pre-treatment to attain baseline measures of suicide ideation, hopelessness, and depression. Study visits will occur at baseline and Months 1, 3, 6, 12, 18, and 24 to assess suicide ideation. Self-report and clinician-administered measures will be used to assess participants' progress.