British Journal of Clinical Psychology

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Volume 37 Issue 4 (November 1998), Pages 371-473

Recovery of positive future thinking within a high‐risk parasuicide group: Results from a pilot randomized controlled trial (pages 371-379)

  • Author(s): Andrew K. MacLeod, Philip Tata, Kathryn Evans, Peter Tyrer, Ulrike Schmidt, Kate Davidson, Susan Thornton, Jose Catalan
  • Published 12 Jul 2011
  • DOI: 10.1111/j.2044-8260.1998.tb01394.x

Objectives. The research examined: (i) whether high risk parasuicide patients showed a deficit in positive future thinking but no increase in negative future thinking; and (ii) whether such a deficit could be remedied by a brief, manual‐assisted psychological intervention (manual assisted cognitive‐behaviour therapy; MACT).

Design. A cross‐sectional, mixed model design was used to assess differences between a sample of high risk parasuicide patients and matched controls on future thinking. A longitudinal mixed model design was used to assess changes in future thinking in the different groups over time.

Methods. Parasuicide patients with a history of previous suicidal behaviour and personality disturbance were compared with a matched group of community controls on an adapted fluency measure of future thinking, which measured both quantitative and qualitative aspects of anticipated experiences. Patients were then randomly allocated to either the specific intervention (MACT) or treatment as usual (TAU) and assessed again at 6 month follow‐up.

Results. Parasuicide patients showed reduced positive future thinking but no increased negative future thinking. Patients who received MACT showed a significant improvement in positive future thinking over the follow‐up period whereas the TAU group showed no such improvement. However, interpretation of this finding was made more difficult by the control group also showing a significant improvement in positive future thinking.

Conclusion. The results confirm that parasuicide patients exhibit a relative deficit in positive future thinking and suggest that this lack of positive future thinking may be remedied, at least partly, by a brief intervention.

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