A Secondary Analysis of a Brief Video Intervention on Suicidal Ideation Among Recent Rape Victims

Kate Walsh, Christal L. Badour, Kelly L. Zuromski, Amanda K. Gilmore, Dean G. Kilpatrick, Ron Acierno, Heidi S. Resnick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Although rape has been linked to risk for suicidal ideation and attempts, there are scant data on the efficacy of brief interventions to reduce suicidality among recent rape victims. This secondary analysis of a randomized controlled trial investigated whether a video intervention delivered in the emergency department (ED), cortisol measured at the ED, and prior rape history predicted postrape suicidal ideation independently or in combination with the other predictors. Participants were 235 women aged 15–71 years who presented to the ED for a sexual assault medical forensic examination and were randomly assigned to either receive a video intervention that addressed avoidance and promoted healthy coping strategies or standard care prior to the examination. Participants also provided a blood sample for cortisol and completed at least one of three follow-ups at 6 weeks, 3 months, or 6 months postrape. The intervention conferred protection against suicidal ideation among women with elevated cortisol and a prior rape; however, it did not reduce risk for women without a prior rape, particularly those with elevated cortisol. It may be important to suicidal ideation among rape victims. More specifically, there appears to be value in screening victims for prior rape and administering this brief intervention to reduce suicidal ideation; however, other avenues should be explored for victims without a prior rape history.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)703-708
Number of pages6
JournalPsychological Services
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 American Psychological Association


  • brief intervention
  • cortisol
  • rape
  • suicidal ideation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Applied Psychology


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