The international suicide prevention trial (interSePT): rationale and design of a trial comparing the relative ability of clozapine and olanzapine to reduce suicidal behavior in schizophrenia and schizoaffective patients.


Journal Article

Suicidal behavior in patients with psychotic disorders represents a seriously undertreated life-threatening condition. The International Suicide Prevention Trial (InterSePT) is the first large-scale, prospective study designed to evaluate the potential of antipsychotic medications to reduce suicidal behaviors in patients with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder who are known to be at high risk for suicide. The unique challenges to study design and the solutions identified for the InterSePT study are described. These challenges included defining suicidal behavior in patients with psychosis, endpoint selection, determination of analytic strategy, and development of scales to assess suicidal behavior. Given the life-threatening nature of suicidal behavior, ethical considerations required that the design minimize suicide attempts and deaths. While the study focused primarily on treatment of suicide, opportunities were used to collect data in related areas of interest, including suicide risk factors, other efficacy measures (e.g., Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale, Covi Anxiety Scale, Calgary Depression Scale), adverse events, pharmacoeconomics, and pharmacogenetics. Because of the complexity of the design issues, a steering committee, suicide monitoring board, and publication committee were established to assist with their management.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Alphs, L; Anand, R; Islam, MZ; Meltzer, HY; Kane, JM; Krishnan, R; Green, AI; Potkin, S; Chouinard, G; Lindenmayer, J-P; Kerwin, R

Published Date

  • 2004

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 30 / 3

Start / End Page

  • 577 - 586

PubMed ID

  • 15631247

Pubmed Central ID

  • 15631247

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0586-7614

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1093/oxfordjournals.schbul.a007102


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States