Single-Case Experimental Designs for the Evaluation of Treatments for Self-Injurious and Suicidal Behaviors


New School for Social Research, 65 Fifth Ave, Room 334, New York, NY 10003; E-mail:


Single-case experimental designs (SCEDs) provide a time- and cost-effective alternative to randomized clinical trials and offer significant advantages in terms of internal and external validity. A brief history and primer on SCEDs is provided, specifically for use in suicide intervention research. Various SCED methodologies, such as AB, ABAB, multiple baseline, and changing criterion designs, are described. Advantages and disadvantages of their use specifically for intervention research for suicidal and self-injurious behaviors are detailed.