Comparative Effectiveness of Ultra-Brief, IPT-A Based Crisis Intervention for Suicidal Children and Adolescents

Ella Adini-Spigelman, Yari Gvion, Liat Haruvi Catalan, Shira Barzilay, Alan Apter, Anat Brunstein Klomek

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Background: In recent years, suicidal thoughts and behaviors have become increasingly common among children and adolescents, leading to an elevation in the number of visits to emergency departments in pediatric hospitals. In Israel, the rising demand for mental health treatment due to suicidal distress is also salient, creating prolonged wait periods and low case acceptance rates. Addressing the urgent need for streamlined interventions, the present study outlines the design and results of a non-inferiority effectiveness trial of an ultra-brief suicide crisis intervention based on Interpersonal Psychotherapy for Adolescents (IPT-A-SCI). Methods: 309 children and adolescents presenting to the Depression and Suicide Clinic at Schneider Children’s Medical Center of Israel with depressive and anxiety symptoms and/or suicidal ideation/behavior were assigned to either IPT-A-SCI, Treatment as Usual (TAU), or waitlist condition. Assessments were conducted pre- and post-intervention/after five sessions/five weeks (as secondary assessments) in accordance with group assignment. Results: At secondary assessment, post IPT-A-SCI, suicide ideation, and behavior as well as depression and anxiety symptoms significantly decreased, with no group differences observed between IPT-A-SCI, TAU, and control groups. Conclusion: IPT-A-SCI is feasible and as effective as the standard treatment in reducing suicidal, depressive, and anxiety symptoms among children and adolescents.

Original languageEnglish
JournalArchives of Suicide Research
Early online date3 Jan 2024
StateE-pub ahead of print - 3 Jan 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024 International Academy for Suicide Research.


  • Adolescents
  • children
  • crisis
  • intervention
  • suicide ideation


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