The Collaborative Assessment and Management of Suicidality ("CAMS") Significantly Lowers Suicidal Ideation and General Distress, Increases Treatment Acceptability, And Increases Hope for People with Serious Suicidal Thoughts

BETHESDA, Md., May 18, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — The meta-analysis was performed by Dr. Joshua K. Swift and his team at the Department of Psychology at Idaho State University. It included nine studies, primarily randomized controlled trials, with data from 749 patients where the CAMS intervention was compared to treatment as usual or, in one study, with Dialectical Behavior Therapy (“DBT”). The new study has just been published in the peer-reviewed journal, Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior.

“The results showed that CAMS, in comparison to alternative interventions, resulted in significantly lower suicidal ideation and general distress, considerably higher treatment acceptability, and notably higher hope/lower hopelessness,” Dr. Swift explained.

Review the Original Article by Dr. Swift here: 

Globally, approximately 800,000 individuals die by suicide each year, according to the World Health Organization. The frequency of suicide-related deaths is a major concern in the United States, where in 2019, 47,511 died by suicide, over 1.4 million adults attempted suicide, and 12 million had significant suicidal thoughts.

Given the pervasive nature of this leading cause of death, studies have tested interventions addressing suicide-related deaths, attempts, self-harm, and ideation. Another recent meta-analysis of this research (Fox et al., 2020) found that interventions for addressing suicidal thoughts and behaviors are effective overall; however, the effects tend to be small and have not improved over time. Although the results from this meta-analysis provide an overall picture of the research, the results were primarily based on four specific interventions, medication, cognitive therapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy, and dialectical behavior therapy, and did not include CAMS. In addition, although suicidal ideation is often measured in studies of these common interventions, most studies focus on suicidal behaviors. Suicidal ideation is often not a direct treatment target.

“This omission is concerning given the substantial proportion of the population who experience suicidal thoughts and the burden of distress that it entails,” said Dr. Swift. “It is important to target suicidal ideation, as research indicates that roughly 30% of those who experience suicidal ideation will make a suicide attempt and that ideation is a significant precursor for suicide attempts and deaths. Our meta-analysis focused on suicidal ideation rather than suicidal behavior or self-harm as primary outcomes because addressing suicidal ideation represents a notable reduction in suffering for many patients and may reduce the risk of later death by suicide.”

There is ongoing research into the effectiveness of CAMS, including a NIMH-funded multi-site study of CAMS with 700 college students who are suicidal and being seen at counseling centers at the University of Oregon, University of Nevada—Reno, Duke University, and Rutgers University. A newly funded NIMH clinical trial will investigate the impact of intravenous Ketamine on 140 teenage inpatients who are suicidal at the Cleveland Clinic. Additional clinical trials of CAMS with youth who are suicidal are pending. A highly modified electronic version of CAMS is central to a tablet-based application called “Jaspr Health,” which is now being studied with NIMH-funding in clinical trials investigations of patients who are suicidal in the emergency department and other outpatient settings.

“Additional research investigating the effectiveness of CAMS will be important,” said Dr. Swift, “as evaluating CAMS for features such as cost-effectiveness could facilitate the implementation and dissemination of this evidence-based treatment while enhancing clinical outcomes.”

The results of this meta-analysis provide strong evidence for CAMS as an intervention for people with serious suicidal thoughts, including 12 million adults in the United States in 2019. The results suggest that not only does CAMS outperform alternative active interventions, but that patients who receive CAMS are less likely to drop out of treatment prematurely and report greater levels of satisfaction compared to alternative treatment options. These findings appear to be consistent across time, settings, patient age, and ethnicity.

“We are thrilled with the findings of this meta-analysis,” said Dr. David Jobes, Professor of Psychology at The Catholic University of America, creator of CAMS, and founder of CAMS-care. “Our mission at CAMS-care is to save lives through effective clinical care. The incredibly rigorous work of Dr. Swift and his colleagues clearly shows that CAMS provides highly effective care for the largest challenge we face in suicide prevention today: the massive population of people who struggle with serious suicidal thoughts. To date, CAMS-care has trained close to 20,000 clinicians, and our goal is to train many more so we can help decrease suicide-related suffering and deaths around the world.”

Review the Original Article by Dr. Swift here: 

About CAMS-care

CAMS-care provides training and consultation related to the Collaborative Assessment and Management of Suicidology (CAMS) Framework, an evidence-based therapeutic framework for suicide-specific assessment and treatment of suicidal risk. The framework, developed by CAMS-care founder Dr. David A. Jobes, Ph.D., ABPP, emphasizes collaborating with the patient, intentionally using the patient’s experience of being suicidal to inform a suicide-focused treatment plan as a “co-author.” Research has shown that clinicians using the framework report greater confidence in their ability to effectively work with patients who are suicidal. CAMS-care is the only authorized source for CAMS training and consultation.

CAMS-care offers evidence-based suicide assessment, intervention and treatment training, consulting, and resources. For more information, visit and contact:

Andrew Evans


(720) 308-3956

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