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Decreases in Suicide Cognitions After Cognitive Processing Therapy Among Veterans With Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Due to Military Sexual Trauma: A Preliminary Examination

Holliday, Ryan, PhD*†; Holder, Nicholas, BS‡§; Monteith, Lindsey L., PhD*†; Surís, Alina, PhD‡§

The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease: July 2018 - Volume 206 - Issue 7 - p 575–578
doi: 10.1097/NMD.0000000000000840
Brief Report

Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is associated with suicidal ideation (SI) and suicidal self-directed violence (SDV). Military sexual trauma (MST) is a common precursor to PTSD among veterans. Survivors of MST are more likely to be diagnosed with PTSD and are at greater risk for SI than survivors of other forms of trauma. Suicide-specific beliefs (e.g., unlovability, unbearability, unsolvability) have been shown to be strong predictors of SI and future suicidal SDV. Suicide-specific beliefs were examined over the course of treatment and follow-up in 32 veterans (23 women, 9 men) who received cognitive processing therapy (CPT) for MST-related PTSD. Hierarchical linear models revealed that veterans who received CPT had significant reductions in suicide-specific cognitions regarding unbearability, unlovability, and unsolvability. These preliminary findings warrant replication in a randomized controlled trial with a larger sample that includes participants with more acute suicidal intent.

*Denver Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Rocky Mountain Mental Illness Research, Education and Clinical Center for Suicide Prevention, Denver;

University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, Aurora, CO;

Veterans Affairs North Texas Health Care System; and

§University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX.

Send reprint requests to Alina Surís, PhD, Dallas VA Medical Center, Mental Health (116A), 4500 S Lancaster Rd, Dallas, TX 75216. E-mail: alina.suris@va.gov.

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