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WASHINGTON — Experts’ ability to predict if someone will attempt to take his or her own life is no better than chance and has not significantly improved over the last 50 years, according to a comprehensive review of suicide research published by the American Psychological Association. “Suicidal thoughts and behaviors are among the most common, deadly and potentially preventable public health problems. Despite major advances in medical and psychological science, the devastating impact of this problem has remained constant for at least several decades,” said Joseph Franklin, PhD, of Harvard University, lead author on the study, which appeared in the journal Psychological Bulletin®. A proper understanding of risk factors for suicidal thoughts and behaviors is essential in crafting scientific theories, accurate risk assessments and effective treatments, according to Franklin.

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