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Keywords:

  • Adolescent;
  • aggression;
  • DBT skills training;
  • dialectical behavior therapy (DBT);
  • self-harm;
  • self-injury;
  • skills training group;
  • suicide;
  • teen

Problem

Clinicians are challenged to treat adolescents with life-threatening behaviors while accessing fewer mental health resources with increased utilization management pressures.

Methods

Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) skills training groups were implemented as a quality improvement project to decrease the length of stay on an adolescent psychiatric partial hospital program by reducing potential life-threatening behaviors.

Findings

The average length of stay decreased nearly 5 days during the project. Potential life-threatening urges seemed to increase from pretreatment findings while life-threatening actions appeared to decrease.

Conclusions

While the findings were inconclusive regarding the actual effect on life-threatening urges and behaviors, dialectical behavior therapy skills training groups may have positive outcomes on an adolescent psychiatric partial hospital program.