Background: Suicide is a leading cause of death among Veterans, with rates significantly higher than the general population. To address this issue, it is crucial to develop and implement more effective treatments for Veterans with suicidal thoughts and/or behaviors, particularly those in the post-acute suicidal episode (PASE) stage. The present study aims to establish the feasibility and acceptability of a novel, recovery-oriented treatment called Continuous Identity Cognitive Therapy (CI-CT) for PASE Veterans.
Methods: This 3-year open-label pilot study will include three one-arm trials and a pilot randomized controlled trial (RCT). A total of 57 Veterans with a history of an acute suicidal episode within the previous year will be recruited. Primary outcome measures will include changes in personal recovery, suicidal thoughts, and behaviors. Secondary outcomes will include changes in self-identity, life satisfaction, and hopefulness. Feasibility and acceptability will be assessed through attendance and retention rates, drop-out rates, and client satisfaction.
Conclusion: This study aims to develop and evaluate the feasibility and acceptability of a novel recovery-oriented intervention for Veterans experiencing PASE. If the intervention is found to be feasible and acceptable, a manualized version will be finalized and a large-scale multi-site RCT will be designed to assess its clinical efficacy on a broader Veteran population. The results of this trial will aid in the development of effective treatment and provide valuable insights into the preliminary feasibility, acceptability, and effectiveness of this approach in reducing suicidal thoughts and behaviors and promoting recovery and rehabilitation in this population.