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Dialectical Behaviour Therapy in Adolescents for Suicide Prevention: Systematic Review of Clinical-Effectiveness (2009)

Author: Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health (CADTH)

Objective: The aim of the report is to answer the following research question: What is the evidence on the clinical effectiveness of dialectical behaviour therapy for suicide prevention in adolescents (18 years of age or younger)?

Methods: Published literature was obtained by cross-searching MEDLINE, Embase, PsycINFO, and ERIC on the OVID search system between 2004 and January 2009. Regular alerts were established on MEDLINE, Embase, PsycINFO, and ERIC. The information that was retrieved using alerts is current to March 9, 2009. Parallel searches were performed on The Cochrane Library (Issue 4, 2008) and the University of York Centre for Reviews and Dissemination (CRD) databases. Language publication date limits were not applied. Filters were applied to limit the retrieval to health technology assessments, systematic reviews, meta-analyses, randomized controlled trials (RCTs), controlled clinical trials, observational studies, and guidelines. The websites of health technology assessment and related agencies were also searched, as were specialized databases such as those of the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence, ECRI Institute, and EuroScan. The Google search engine was used to search for information on the Internet.

Results: Two systematic reviews meeting the inclusion criteria were identified. One RCT and four observational studies that were not included in the two systematic reviews were also identified. No health technology assessments met the inclusion criteria.

Conclusion: The results of this review suggest that DBT may be effective in the treatment of suicidality among adolescents with or suspected to have
BPD and bipolar disorder. More evidence is needed from high-quality studies to confirm these findings. This information, with an evaluation of the long-term effectiveness of the use of DBT among suicidal adolescents and assessments of the cost-effectiveness of DBT, would contribute to the decision-making process
of treatment providers and policy-makers.