Effect of a Crisis Intervention Team for suicide attempt patients in an emergency department in Korea

Eusang Ahn, Jooyeong Kim, Sungwoo Moon, Young Hoon Ko, Hanjin Cho, Jong Hak Park, Ju Hyun Song, Han Na Kim, Ju Yeon Jee, Ra Young Han

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    1 Citation (Scopus)


    Background: South Korea has one of the highest rates of suicide in the world, which poses an immense socioeconomic burden on the healthcare system. Objectives: We hypothesized that the implementation of a Crisis Intervention Team would lead to an improvement in completion rates of suicide prevention counseling programs. Methods: This is a retrospective before-and-after analysis, and was carried out in the emergency department in the city of Ansan, South Korea. The Crisis Intervention Team, funded by the Ministry of Health and Welfare, counsels suicide attempt patients with the ultimate goal of assuring proper administration of mental healthcare from community suicide support programs. Data on suicide attempt patients were collected using medical records. The primary outcome was defined as completion of the 8-week follow-up period for suicide attempt patients with the community suicide support programs. Results: A total of 246 patients from the pre-intervention period and 296 patients from the post-intervention period were included in the study. The completion rates of the 8-week follow-up period increased significantly after the intervention. During the pre-intervention period, 9 patients (3.7%) who were referred to the community suicide support program completed the 8 weeks of follow-up, whereas in the post-intervention period, 56 patients (18.9%) followed up for 8 weeks or more (p < 0.0001). The secondary outcome, overall linkage rates to community suicide support program, did not change significantly, with a minor increase from 46 (18.7%) to 63 (21.3%) (p = 0.45). Conclusion: The implementation of an in-hospital Crisis Intervention Team dedicated to active and assertive counseling that begins in the emergency department was correlated with significantly increased completion rates of the 8-week follow-up counseling program.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)92-98
    Number of pages7
    JournalHong Kong Journal of Emergency Medicine
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2020 Mar 1


    • Counseling
    • emergency medicine
    • mental health
    • poisoning
    • suicidal ideations

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Emergency Medicine


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