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Table 1 Summary characteristics of included studies

From: Effectiveness of brief psychological interventions for suicidal presentations: a systematic review



Nature of suicide risk

Study Design




Pre-intervention patient measures

Post-intervention patient measures


Follow up period

Fleischmann et al 2008 [23] 5 sites (Brazil; India; Sri Lanka; Iran; and China)

1867 Adults

57% female, median age 23 years

Patients who have attempted suicide

RCT Individual randomization

Emergency care settings

One-hour individual information session & periodic follow-up contacts after discharge for 18 months

TAU (as per norms in the respective EDs)

Questionnaire based on the European Parasuicide Study Interview Schedule (EPSIS) and adapted to each site

One-page questionnaire: if patient still alive; if not cause of death; if yes any further suicide attempts; how the patient felt; needs for support

Primary: Completed suicide

18 months

Gysin-Maillart et al 2016 [24] Switzerland

120 Adults

55% female, Mean age 37.8 years

Patients admitted to the ED who attempted suicide

RCT Individual randomization

Emergency department

3 face-to-face therapy sessions supplemented by regular, personalized letters to the participants for 24 months

Enhanced TAU: TAU (inpatient, day patient, and individual outpatient care as considered necessary by the clinicians in charge) and one clinical interview

Suicide Status Form (SSF-III) and 33-item questionnaire to collect sociodemographic, health and suicidal behaviour data

Penn Helping Alliance Questionnaire; Beck Depression Inventory; Beck Scale for Suicide Ideation

Primary: Repeat suicide attempts Secondary: Suicidal ideation, Depression, Health-care utilisation.

2 years

King et al 2015 [25] United States

49 Adolescents 65% female 14–19 years,

Patients with suicide risk factors

Pilot RCT Individual randomization

Emergency department

Personalized feedback, adapted motivational interview and follow-up note

Enhanced TAU (basic mental health resources: crisis card, written information about depression, suicide risk, firearm safety and local mental health services)

2 questions based on the Columbia-Suicide Severity Rating Scale; 15-item Suicidal Ideation Questionnaire – Junior (SIQ-JR); Reynolds Adolescent Depression Scale; Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test; Beck Hopelessness Scale

Two questions adapted from the Columbia-Suicide Severity Rating Scale; Reynolds Adolescent Depression Scale; The Beck Hopelessness Scale; The Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test; Motivational interviewing

Depression, hopelessness, suicidal ideation and alcohol use.

2 months

Miller et al 2017 [22] United States

1376 Adults

55.9% female

median age 37

Patients attending ED with suicide attempt or ideation in previous week

Interrupted time series design

Emergency department

1. Secondary suicide risk screening

2. Self-administered safety plan & information provided by nurses

3. Telephone follow-up to patients and a significant other

TAU (usual care at each site) and contacts for 1 year


1. Telephone interviews

using the Columbia Suicide Severity Rating Scale

2. Medical records

Suicide attempts, Suicide composite: occurrence of suicide, suicide attempt, interrupted/ aborted attempts & suicide preparatory acts

1 year