Investigating the role of hopelessness in the relationship between PTSD symptom change and suicidality.
|Title||Investigating the role of hopelessness in the relationship between PTSD symptom change and suicidality.|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2018|
|Authors||Boffa JW, King SL, Turecki G, Schmidt NB|
|Journal||J Affect Disord|
|Date Published||2018 Jan 01|
BACKGROUND: This study served as an initial investigation of the role hopelessness may play in the relationship between PTSD symptom change and suicide intent, among a trauma-exposed, treatment-seeking sample. We explored whether the effect of PTSD symptom change on self-reported likelihood of a future suicide attempt (FSA) varies as a function of pre-treatment hopelessness, and whether reductions in hopelessness serve as a mechanism through which PTSD symptom change influences FSA likelihood.METHODS: Data was collected from participants (N = 159) in a larger randomized clinical trial of a suicide risk-factor intervention. Self-report questionnaires assessed hopelessness, PTSD symptoms, depression symptoms, and FSA likelihood at pre-treatment and one-month follow-up.RESULTS: Pre-treatment hopelessness emerged as a significant moderator, such that overall PTSD symptom reductions were related to overall decreases in FSA likelihood among those at or above (but not those below) the sample mean of pre-treatment hopelessness. In a subsample of individuals who reported FSA likelihood > 0 and elevated hopelessness at pre-treatment, overall pre-treatment-to-month-one reductions in hopelessness significantly mediated the relationship between overall PTSD symptom reductions and decreased FSA likelihood during this same time period, even after accounting for depression symptom changes.LIMITATIONS: Data were limited to self-report measures (i.e., hopelessness, FSA likelihood). The intervention was not PTSD-specific. Mediation analyses were strictly statistical due to overlapping time-points.CONCLUSIONS: This preliminary investigation suggests pre-treatment hopelessness may serve to identify trauma-exposed individuals for whom PTSD treatment would significantly reduce FSA likelihood. Moreover, reductions in FSA likelihood during treatment may be due in part to reduced hopelessness.
|Alternate Journal||J Affect Disord|