Web-Based CBT Program Cuts Suicidal Ideation in Interns

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Web-Based CBT Program Cuts Suicidal Ideation in Interns
Web-Based CBT Program Cuts Suicidal Ideation in Interns

MONDAY, Nov. 9, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- A web-based cognitive behavioral therapy (wCBT) program is effective for preventing suicidal ideation among medical interns, according to a study published online Nov. 4 in JAMA Psychiatry.

Constance Guille, M.D., from the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, and colleagues examined the effectiveness of a wCBT program for the prevention of suicidal ideation among medical interns. One hundred ninety-nine interns from multiple specialties at two university hospitals were randomized to two study groups (wCBT and attention-control group [ACG]). The participants completed study activities lasting 30 minutes each week for four weeks before the start of the intern year.

The researchers found that 12 percent of the 100 interns assigned to wCBT and 21.2 percent of the 99 interns assigned to ACG endorsed suicidal ideation during at least one point over the course of the internship year. Interns assigned to wCBT were less likely to endorse suicidal ideation during the internship year compared with those assigned to ACG, after adjustment for covariates identified a priori that have been shown to increase the risk of suicide ideation (relative risk, 0.40; P = 0.03).

"Our study supports the feasibility, acceptability, and efficacy of a wCBT program for the prevention of suicidal ideation among medical interns during internship year," the authors write. "This work further supports web-based interventions as promising tools to enhance physician mental health and decrease their high risk for suicide."

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