NASHVILLE, Tenn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The rate of completed suicide in the United States has increased during the past decade. Moreover, there is a recognition that suicidal ideation (SI) and suicidal behaviors (SB) are both under-recognized and undertreated. Given that suicide is one of the ten leading causes of death in the United States, it is important that researchers develop better tools for recognizing suicidal intent, assessing the impact of interventions on the risk of suicide and develop better treatments that are aimed at the prevention of suicide.
Progress in suicide research has been impeded by the absence of consensus on critical elements including a lack of a standardized nomenclature and differing approaches to diagnosing SI and SB. The current issue of the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry reports on the results of a consensus meeting organized by the International Society for CNS Clinical Trials and Methodology (ISCTM) that addressed these issues. Among the 140 participants from academia, industry, patient advocacy groups and government (including participants from the US FDA, European regulatory authorities, and NIH), there was agreement on a number of key issues including: (1) the importance of a consensus on the definition and classification of suicide-related phenomena; (2) the standards for new instruments that can used for assessing SI and SB; (3) the design elements for trials where SI and/or SB is the endpoint; (4) the importance of using common data elements across clinical trials to ensure the comparability of data and findings; and (5) the importance of translating the findings from interventional improvements into policy initiatives and educational programs.
In describing the importance of this report, the article’s first author, Phillip Chappell, MD, MBA (Pfizer Essential Health), commented, “This Consensus Meeting on Assessment of Suicidal Ideation and Behavior was an important step forward. It produced specific recommendations that can be adopted by the field and consensus statements that offer immediate guidance to investigators, clinicians, patients, and policy makers. It also identified critical obstacles and gaps that remain and must be addressed if we are to change the trajectory of suicide in this country. The Consensus Meeting was a clear call to action for the field.”
This meeting was the culmination of ISCTM working group efforts and sessions presented at ISCTM’s meetings. Another such drive toward consensus, in the area of Behavioral and Psychiatric Symptoms in Dementia (BPSD), will bring FDA (Farchione, Toure, Dickinson) and EMA (Mantua, Pani) colleagues to Paris this fall for discussions with other key leaders in this area. Session takes place the final day of the ISCTM Autumn Conference (includes joint day with ECNP), 31 Aug-2 Sept 2017. DETAILED AGENDA
ISCTM is an independent organization devoted to promoting advances that address strategic clinical, regulatory, methodological and policy challenges that arise in the development and use of CNS therapeutic agents.