Effect of crisis response planning on patient mood and clinician decision making: A clinical trial with suicidal U.S. soldiers


Objective: The study examined the immediate effect of crisis interventions on the emotional state of acutely suicidal soldiers and clinician decision making. Methods: Soldiers (N=97) presenting to a military emergency department or behavioral health clinic were randomly assigned to receive a contract for safety (N=32), standard crisis response plan (S-CRP; N=32), or enhanced crisis response plan (E-CRP; N=33). Soldiers completed self-report scales before and after the intervention. Clinicians blinded to treatment group assignment rated participants' suicide risk level and made a decision about inpatient psychiatric admission. Results: Larger reductions in negative emotional states occurred in S-CRP and E-CRP. Larger increases in positive emotional states occurred in E-CRP. Clinician suicide risk ratings did not differ across treatment groups. Participants in E-CRP were less likely to be psychiatrically admitted. Conclusions: The CRP immediately reduces negative emotional states among acutely suicidal soldiers. Discussing a patient's reasons for living during a CRP also reduces the likelihood of inpatient psychiatric admission.

Publication Title

Psychiatric Services