Last updated on February 2018

Positive Psychology in Suicidal Patients

Brief description of study

Suicide is a major health concern. Weeks following psychiatric admission are a highly suicide risk period for those having current suicidal ideation or attempt. Recently, a pilot study suggested the feasibility of positive psychology in patients in suicidal crisis. Notably, gratitude exercises suggested improvement in optimism and hopelessness, two dimensions associated to suicide. Moreover, gratitude has been associated to suicidal ideation and attempt, independently from depression. Thus, investigators want to conduct the first randomized controlled study in order to assess effectiveness of gratitude exercises (vs control task) in suicidal inpatients, on 1) psychological pain reduction 2) suicidal ideation, hopelessness, optimism, depressive symptomatology, and anxiety improvement.

Detailed Study Description

Study design: monocentric randomized controlled study


206 inpatients (Department of Emergency Psychiatry and Post Acute Care), between 18 and 65 years-old, having attempted suicide before hospitalisation or having current active suicidal ideation at the time of the psychiatric hospitalisation. Patients suffering from schizophrenia are excluded.

Randomization into two groups: Positive Psychology (i.e., gratitude journal) (n = 103) or Control Task (i.e., food journal) (n = 103), daily exercises during 7 days (in add-on from usual treatment).

Clinical assessment: 1) at baseline (the day before the intervention beginning) (V0); 2) short daily self-assessments (immediately before and after the exercise); 3) the day following the last day of the intervention (V1).

  • V0 : socio-demographic data, treatments, psychopathology, suicidal ideation,depressive and anxious symptomatology, psychological pain, optimism, hopelessness.
  • Daily self-assessments: psychological pain, optimism, hopelessness
  • V1 : treatments suicidal ideation,depressive and anxious symptomatology, psychological pain, optimism, hopelessness, intervention satisfaction.

Clinical Study Identifier: NCT02855736

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