twelve months after the attempts. In some patients, especially those with dyadic problems, there is reason to expect that treatment effects may not become apparent until the later assessments.
The results of controlled studies of treatment of attempted suicide patients have so far been somewhat disappointing. No experimental treatment based on psychosocial intervention has been shown to affect the rate of repetition of attempts. However, there is some evidence of benefit in terms of social adjustment, although this effect appears to be confined to women and, possibly, to patients with dyadic problems. Further work is needed to identify methods of helping male attempters.
Treatment research with this population of patients is bedevilled by several problems and difficulties. Future studies of treatment for these patients is clearly required. However, if such studies are to be productive, it is imperative that the lessons which can be learnt from previous investigations are taken into account when planning further research in this area.
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