An Open Trial of Motivational Interviewing to Address Suicidal Ideation With Hospitalized Veterans

Peter C. Britton, Kenneth R. Conner, Stephen A. Maisto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Objective: The purpose of this open trial was to test the acceptability of motivational interviewing to address suicidal ideation (MI-SI) for psychiatrically hospitalized veterans with suicidal ideation, estimate its pre-post effect size on the severity of suicidal ideation, and examine the rate of treatment engagement after discharge. Methods: Participants received a screening assessment, baseline assessment, one or two MI-SI sessions, posttreatment assessment, and 60-day follow-up assessment. Thirteen veterans were enrolled, 9 (70%) completed both MI-SI sessions and the posttreatment assessment, and 11 (85%) completed the follow-up assessment. Results: Participants found MI-SI to be acceptable. They experienced large reductions in the severity of suicidal ideation at posttreatment and follow-up. In the 2 months following discharge, 73% of participants completed two or more mental health or substance abuse treatment sessions each month. Conclusions: These preliminary findings suggest that MI-SI has potential to reduce risk for suicide in psychiatrically hospitalized veterans and that a more rigorous trial is needed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)961-971
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Clinical Psychology
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2012


  • Inpatients
  • Motivational interviewing
  • Suicidal ideation
  • Treatment engagement
  • Veterans

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Psychology

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