What is it about?

Partial hospital programs (PHPs) are an important mental health service for adolescents at high risk for suicide. However, relatively little work has tested whether PHPs are effective or for whom PHP is most helpful. To fill in these gaps in existing research, this study used data from a PHP program located in the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States.

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Why is it important?

Compared to existing studies that almost exclusively examined adolescent suicide risk pre- and post-treatment, our study examined changes in depressive symptoms and suicidal ideation over the entire course of treatment. Overall, youth demonstrated significant declines in both depressive symptoms and suicidal ideation during their stay in PHP. Additionally, this study is among the first to examine for whom PHP is most helpful. Those results suggested that some adolescents (e.g., females, sexual minorities, and youth with history of self-injurious behavior) may benefit more from PHP than others.


I hope that this article inspires more research on the effectiveness of PHPs. Our youth deserve the best evidence-based care possible, especially during a crisis.

Roberto Lopez Jr
University of California Los Angeles

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Trajectories of adolescent suicidal ideation and depressive symptoms during partial hospitalization: Clinical and demographic characteristics as predictors of change., Psychological Services, August 2023, American Psychological Association (APA),
DOI: 10.1037/ser0000796.
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