Original Paper

European Archives of Psychiatry and Clinical Neuroscience

, Volume 260, Issue 5, pp 401-406

First online:

Sustainable effects on suicidality were found for the Nuremberg alliance against depression

  • Ulrich HegerlAffiliated withDepartment of Psychiatry, University of Leipzig Email author 
  • , Roland MerglAffiliated withDepartment of Psychiatry, University of Leipzig
  • , Inga HaversAffiliated withDepartment of Psychiatry, University of Leipzig
  • , Armin SchmidtkeAffiliated withDepartment of Psychiatry, Psychosomatic Medicine and Psychotherapy, Julius-Maximilian-University Wuerzburg
  • , Hartmut LehfeldAffiliated withHospital for Psychiatry and Psychotherapy
  • , Günter NiklewskiAffiliated withHospital for Psychiatry and Psychotherapy
  • , David AlthausAffiliated withPraxis for Psychotherapy

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Abstract

During an intense four-level community-based intervention program conducted in Nuremberg (490,000 inhabitants) in 2001 and 2002 [Nuremberg Alliance Against Depression (NAD)], the number of suicidal acts (main outcome completed + attempted suicides) had dropped significantly (−21.7%), a significant effect compared with the baseline year and the control region (Wuerzburg, about 290,000 inhabitants). To assess the sustainability of the intervention effects the number of suicidal acts was assessed in the follow-up year (2003), after the termination of the 2-year intervention. Also, in the follow-up year (2003), the reduction in suicidal acts compared with the baseline year in Nuremberg (2000 vs. 2003: −32.4%) was significantly larger than that in the control region (P = 0.0065). The reduction was even numerically larger than that of the intervention years (2001, 2002). Thus, 1 year after the end of the main intervention, preventive effects on suicidality of the NAD remain at least stable. The four-level intervention concept appears to be cost-effective and is presently implemented in many European regions.

Keywords

Depression Suicidality Intervention Sustainability