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BMJ Open. 2012; 2(5): e001558.
Published online 2012 September 13. doi:  10.1136/bmjopen-2012-001558
PMCID: PMC3467611

A clinical audit of changes in suicide ideas with internet treatment for depression

Abstract

Objectives

To examine reductions in suicidal ideation among a sample of patients who were prescribed an internet cognitive behavior therapy (iCBT) course for depression.

Design

Effectiveness study within a quality assurance framework.

Setting

Primary care.

Participants

299 patients who were prescribed an iCBT course for depression by primary care clinicians.

Intervention

Six lesson, fully automated cognitive behaviour therapy course delivered over the internet. Primary outcome: suicidal ideation as measured by question 9 on the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9).

Results

Suicidal ideation was common (54%) among primary care patients prescribed iCBT treatment for depression but dropped to 30% post-treatment despite minimal clinician contact and the absence of an intervention focused on suicidal ideation. This reduction in suicidal ideation was evident regardless of sex and age.

Conclusions

The findings do not support the exclusion of patients with significant suicidal ideation.

Keywords: Mental Health, Primary Care, Psychiatry

Articles from BMJ Open are provided here courtesy of BMJ Group