Is Suicide Ideation a Surrogate Endpoint for Geriatric Suicide?
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The present study explored the validity of treating suicide ideation as a surrogate endpoint that can serve as a proxy for suicide in clinical intervention research with suicidal seniors. Two criteria; that suicide ideation is modulated by the proposed intervention and that modulation of suicide ideation leads to a quantitative reduction in suicide rates, were the focus of this review. A series of literature searches of the PsychINFO and Medline databases were conducted on the terms geriatric, elderly, seniors, suicide, self-destruction, clinical, randomized, trial, treatment, intervention , and ideation . Articles were analyzed if they provided sufficient information to examine whether an intervention effectively led to a reduction in suicide ideation among seniors. Two hundred and eight articles were considered for potential inclusion in this study, with 19 articles meeting final inclusion criteria. The articles reviewed were divided into three broad categories: articles supporting suicide ideation as a surrogate endpoint for geriatric suicide ( n = 6); those not supporting this hypothesis ( n = 1); and those providing insufficient information to test the hypothesis ( n = 12). The present analysis provided modest evidence for suicide ideation as a surrogate endpoint for geriatric suicide, due, in part, to a paucity of randomized controlled trials of treatment interventions for suicidal seniors, thus demonstrating a clear need for research in this area. Implications of utilizing surrogate endpoints in suicide research are discussed.
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