FAQs for Suicide Survivors Study Participants
Why should I participate in a study of medication? Complicated grief is a newly recognized syndrome. Doctors in the community often treat it with medication alone. This might be effective, but there is no existing data to show that it is. This information is very important for people with complicated grief. We also don’t know if medication alone is just as effective as when it is combined with psychotherapy. Our study will also tell us this important information.
Is there a placebo involved in the study? Yes, everyone in the study will be given a medication. Neither you nor the study staff will know if you are receiving an antidepressant medication or a placebo medication (sugar pill).
How long does the treatment take? The frequency and length of your study treatment visits will vary depending on whether you are receiving therapy or not. You have a 50/50 chance of receiving therapy. If you are meeting with a therapist, you will meet weekly for 16 weeks. Each therapy session is about one hour. Everyone who participates will be taking some type of medication and meeting with a pharmacotherapist for about half an hour approximately six times over a course of four months. In addition, someone from our research team will call you once a month to check in and ask some questions.
Are all the treatment sessions in person? Yes, we prefer that all the treatment sessions be held at our study offices. In rare cases, we can do phone sessions, but we believe treatment is more effective in person.
What happens if I have to miss a session? There is some flexibility built into the study treatment. Treatment sessions can be rescheduled if a participant must miss a week.
Is there any group treatment involved in the study? No, the study treatment involves one-on-one counseling with a therapist or a pharmacotherapist. We can provide referrals for group treatment if you are interested in this.
How do I get to the study offices? For directions to our offices, see About Our Program.
How often would I complete questionnaires? Once you join the study, you'll complete short questionnaires at every therapy session. You'll also have short phone assessments (ranging from 10-30 minutes) about once a month for six months after you begin treatment.
Would I be paid for being in the study? You will receive a small payment for completing study assessments. However, the main benefit of the study is that you would receive treatment free of charge.
Do you have referrals to grief treatment in my area? Details on other grief services can be found under Additional Resources.