Contemporary Clinical Trials, 110, Article 106564.
Studies of active duty service members have shown that military personnel who screen positive for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are more than twice as likely to make a suicide attempt. Evidence-based PTSD treatments can reduce suicidal ideation; however, it can be challenging to provide evidence-based, trauma-focused, PTSD treatment to high-risk patients on an acute psychiatric inpatient unit because the priority of care is stabilization. Treatment for PTSD requires more time and resources than are typically afforded during inpatient hospitalizations. Written Exposure Therapy is an evidence-based, five-session, trauma-focused treatment for PTSD that may overcome the implementation challenges of providing PTSD treatment in an acute inpatient psychiatric treatment setting. This paper describes the design, methodology, and protocol of a randomized clinical trial. The goal of the study is to determine if five 60-min sessions of Written Exposure Therapy enhanced with Crisis Response Planning for suicide risk reduces the presence, frequency, and severity of suicidal ideation, suicidal behavior, rehospitalization, and non-suicidal, self-injurious behaviors. The study also will determine if Written Exposure Therapy for Suicide reduces posttraumatic stress symptom severity among military service members, veterans, and other adult military beneficiaries admitted to an acute psychiatric inpatient unit for comorbid suicide ideation or attempt and PTSD symptoms compared with Treatment as Usual. The study is designed to enhance the delivery of care for those in acute suicidal crisis with comorbid PTSD symptoms.