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The effectiveness of a suicide prevention app for indigenous Australian youths: study protocol for a randomized controlled trial.

Shand FL, Ridani R, Tighe J, Christensen H - Trials (2013)

Bottom Line: The primary outcome measure is a reduction in frequency and intensity of suicidal thoughts.Secondary outcome measures are the reduction of depression, anxiety and impulsivity.This study is the first to evaluate the effectiveness of a self-help app for suicidal thoughts amongst young Indigenous people.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: Black Dog Institute, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia. fionas@unsw.edu.au.

ABSTRACT

Background: Indigenous Australian youth (aged 15 to 34) have up to four times the risk of suicide compared with their non-Indigenous counterparts. Barriers to help-seeking include shame, feared loss of autonomy and negative attitudes towards healthcare providers. The use of mobile devices and apps continues to rise amongst young people, thus presenting opportunities to utilize these aids in overcoming help-seeking barriers. Apps have been shown to assist in several health-related areas, including weight loss and smoking cessation, although no apps have as yet been evaluated for suicide prevention. Moreover, there is a lack of research that scientifically evaluates suicide prevention interventions within Indigenous communities.

Methods/design: In this study, a recently developed self-help app will be evaluated in a randomized controlled trial. The intervention is based on acceptance and commitment therapy and mindfulness-based cognitive behavioural therapy. It is aimed at participants who have suicidal thoughts but who are not actively suicidal. In total, 150 participants will be randomly allocated to the intervention-condition (N = 75) or to the wait-list control condition (N = 75). Questionnaires will be completed at baseline, post-test and 6 weeks follow-up. The primary outcome measure is a reduction in frequency and intensity of suicidal thoughts. Secondary outcome measures are the reduction of depression, anxiety and impulsivity.

Discussion: This study is the first to evaluate the effectiveness of a self-help app for suicidal thoughts amongst young Indigenous people. Several limitations and strengths of the design are discussed.

Trial registration: Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry (ANZCTR): ACTRN12613000104752.

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Related in: MedlinePlus

Study procedure.
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Figure 1: Study procedure.

Mentions: Participants will be screened over the phone and those eligible will be given a time for their induction session. Participants in remote locations may opt to have the tablet couriered and to have their induction over the telephone. During induction, participants will read a participant information statement, sign a consent form and safety agreement, be administered baseline measures and complete a follow-up contact form so that the researchers can make contact with them or their closest contact for post-test and follow-up measures. Individuals in the intervention group will be provided with a tablet and basic training on how to use the app, as well as assistance in setting up their security access. Those in the wait-list control group will be asked to return to the same location after 7 weeks, at which point they will be given a tablet and basic app training. An overview of the process is given in Figure 1.


The effectiveness of a suicide prevention app for indigenous Australian youths: study protocol for a randomized controlled trial.

Shand FL, Ridani R, Tighe J, Christensen H - Trials (2013)

Study procedure.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4222891&req=5

Figure 1: Study procedure.
Mentions: Participants will be screened over the phone and those eligible will be given a time for their induction session. Participants in remote locations may opt to have the tablet couriered and to have their induction over the telephone. During induction, participants will read a participant information statement, sign a consent form and safety agreement, be administered baseline measures and complete a follow-up contact form so that the researchers can make contact with them or their closest contact for post-test and follow-up measures. Individuals in the intervention group will be provided with a tablet and basic training on how to use the app, as well as assistance in setting up their security access. Those in the wait-list control group will be asked to return to the same location after 7 weeks, at which point they will be given a tablet and basic app training. An overview of the process is given in Figure 1.

Bottom Line: The primary outcome measure is a reduction in frequency and intensity of suicidal thoughts.Secondary outcome measures are the reduction of depression, anxiety and impulsivity.This study is the first to evaluate the effectiveness of a self-help app for suicidal thoughts amongst young Indigenous people.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: Black Dog Institute, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia. fionas@unsw.edu.au.

ABSTRACT

Background: Indigenous Australian youth (aged 15 to 34) have up to four times the risk of suicide compared with their non-Indigenous counterparts. Barriers to help-seeking include shame, feared loss of autonomy and negative attitudes towards healthcare providers. The use of mobile devices and apps continues to rise amongst young people, thus presenting opportunities to utilize these aids in overcoming help-seeking barriers. Apps have been shown to assist in several health-related areas, including weight loss and smoking cessation, although no apps have as yet been evaluated for suicide prevention. Moreover, there is a lack of research that scientifically evaluates suicide prevention interventions within Indigenous communities.

Methods/design: In this study, a recently developed self-help app will be evaluated in a randomized controlled trial. The intervention is based on acceptance and commitment therapy and mindfulness-based cognitive behavioural therapy. It is aimed at participants who have suicidal thoughts but who are not actively suicidal. In total, 150 participants will be randomly allocated to the intervention-condition (N = 75) or to the wait-list control condition (N = 75). Questionnaires will be completed at baseline, post-test and 6 weeks follow-up. The primary outcome measure is a reduction in frequency and intensity of suicidal thoughts. Secondary outcome measures are the reduction of depression, anxiety and impulsivity.

Discussion: This study is the first to evaluate the effectiveness of a self-help app for suicidal thoughts amongst young Indigenous people. Several limitations and strengths of the design are discussed.

Trial registration: Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry (ANZCTR): ACTRN12613000104752.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus