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

Larry Alphs*, Ravi Anand, M. Zahur Islam, Herbert Y. Meltzer, John M. Kane, Ranga Krishnan, Alan I. Green, Steven Potkin, Guy Chouinard, Jean Pierre Lindenmayer, Rob Kerwin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

31 Scopus citations

Abstract

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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)577-586
Number of pages10
JournalSchizophrenia bulletin
Volume30
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2004

Keywords

  • Clozapine
  • Olanzapine
  • Schizoaffective disorder
  • Schizophrenia
  • Study design
  • Suicidal behavior
  • Suicide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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