Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) interventions can reduce self-injury and suicide attempts in women at high risk for suicide, according to a study published in JAMA Psychiatry.
DBT is a multi-component therapy that includes individual therapy, group skills training, between-session telephone coaching, and a therapist consultation team. It is geared toward patients with marked impulsivity and an inability to regulate emotions.
The study included 99 women diagnosed with borderline personality disorder who had at least two suicide attempts and/or non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI) acts in the last 5 years, a suicide attempt or NSSI act in the 8 weeks before screening, and a suicide attempt in the past year.
The women were randomized into one of three treatment groups groups: skills training plus case management (DBT-S), DBT individual therapy plus activities group (DBT-I), or standard DBT with skills training and individual therapy (DBT).
The results indicated that all three variations of DBT significantly reduced suicide attempts, suicidal ideation, medical severity of NSSI acts, and use of crisis services due to suicidality. They also all improved reasons for living.
“Contrary to our expectations, standard DBT was not superior to either comparison condition for any suicide-related outcome, and no significant differences were detected between DBT-S and DBT-I,” the researchers said.
As published online by JAMA Psychiatry, the randomized clinical trial was performed on women with borderline personality disorder who were highly suicidal.
DBT is a multicomponent therapy for individuals at high risk for suicide and for those with multiple severe mental disorders, particularly those who have marked impulsivity and an inability to regulate emotions.
DBT includes individual therapy, group skills training, between-session telephone coaching and a therapist consultation team.