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The Treatment of Adolescents with Suicidal Tendencies

PICOT Question

The proposed PICOT statement is: “In adolescent patients suffering from suicide ideation, does the implementation of family and professional support, compared with only depression prevention strategies, reduce the suicide ideation and rate of adolescent, in a year period?” To answer this question, one can look at articles that provide some insight into the complicated issue of adolescent suicide attempts. The proposed qualitative article, for instance, gives more information about the perspective of young patients. According to Aspaslan (2014), the opinions of the young people that attempted suicide matter significantly as their feelings and beliefs can be recorded and analyzed for future use. This work presents much information about the support systems that some of the participants encountered during their treatment. The author highlights that family, while being one of the major sides of support for adolescents, often lacks necessary means to provide comfort to the young individuals.

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The article “Reflections on the Experiences and Needs of Adolescents Who Have Attempted Suicide: A Qualitative Study” provides some data that may help answer the PICOT question. First of all, the author outlines that many adolescents would like for their parents and professional support to participate in the process of their recovery. Moreover, young individuals recall many negative experiences connected with their interaction with the family. Suicide ideation for some of these people is linked to unstable or abusive relations with their parents and close relatives. The level of neglect that these adolescents faced prior to attempting suicide may reveal a problem that can and should be fixed. The author concludes that family education and participation may significantly lower the number of attempts and positively affect the treatment of adolescent patients.

The chosen quantitative article further supports this point. The work “The SAFETY Program: A Treatment-Development Trial of a Cognitive-Behavioral Family Treatment for Adolescent Suicide Attempters” by Asarnow, Berk, Hughes, and Anderson (2015) argues that a strong focus on family support and active professional help may significantly influence the rate of suicide attempts. Moreover, it can work as a prevention practice for adolescents. The authors present data from the trials in order to show the success of the program, outlining that both parents and counselors can make a difference in a young person’s mental health. For example, the participation of parents in treatment lowers adolescents’ symptoms of depression and levels of self-harm. Moreover, parents of the participating children also show positive results. The emphasis on family is shown to reduce the possibility of repeating suicide attempts. Therefore, the inclusion of parental and professional support can lower the rates of suicidal attempts among youth.

EBP Changes

Both articles discussed above many present arguments in favor of parental and professional support that is included in the treatment of adolescents with suicidal tendencies. Moreover, the need for such changes is evident in the information displayed by the authors. Thus, a nursing practice problem can be identified. As the authors suggest, the concept of family participation has to be discussed further. In this situation, nurses play a prominent role in the process of education and implementation, and they can raise awareness about the need for parental and professional participation. Nurses can use this knowledge and bring changes to evidence-based practice (EBP).

Promoting family engagement and teaching parents about possible ways to intervene may significantly affect the health and well-being of adolescents and provide them with a more substantial base for further treatment. Advocating for the development of programs that use parental support and encourage professional learning and participation may also change the way adolescents with suicidal ideations are being treated right now. All in all, the articles present their evidence in favor of promoting new ways of including parents in their child’s treatment. Here, the PICOT statement reveals that nurses should implement changes into the EBP and focus on family support and communication in order to decrease the rates of suicide attempts among adolescent patients.


Asarnow, J. R., Berk, M., Hughes, J. L., & Anderson, N. L. (2015). The SAFETY program: A treatment-development trial of a cognitive-behavioral family treatment for adolescent suicide attempters. Journal of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology, 44(1), 194-203.

Aspaslan, N. (2014). Reflections on the experiences and needs of adolescents who have attempted suicide: A qualitative study. Social Work/Maatskaplike Werk, 39(3), 251-269.

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