Objective: The authors report on a pilot study of an inpatient intervention for suicidal adolescents, As Safe as Possible (ASAP), supported by a smartphone app (BRITE) to reduce suicide attempts following hospital discharge. Method: Across two sites, 66 adolescents hospitalized for suicidal ideation (N=26) or a recent suicide attempt (N=40) were randomly assigned to the ASAP intervention program plus treatment as usual or to treatment as usual alone. ASAP, which focuses on emotion regulation and safety planning, is a 3-hour intervention delivered on the inpatient unit. The BRITE app prompted participants to rate their level of emotional distress on a daily basis and provided personalized strategies for emotion regulation and safety planning. A blind, independent evaluator assessed suicide attempts following hospital discharge and suicidal ideation at 4, 12, and 24 weeks after discharge. Results: The ASAP intervention did not have a statistically significant effect on suicide attempt, although findings were in the hypothesized direction for occurrence of an attempt (16% compared with 31%; x2=1.86, df=1, g=20.36) and time to an attempt (hazard ratio=0.49, 95% CI=0.16, 1.47). Past history of a suicide attempt was a significant moderator of treatment outcome, with a stronger, albeit nonsignificant, effect of the ASAP intervention among participants with a history of suicide attempt (hazard ratio=0.23, 95% CI=0.05, 1.09). There were no treatment effects on suicidal ideation. The majority of participants (70%) used the BRITE app (median usage, 19 times). Participants reported high satisfaction with both the intervention and the app. Conclusions: The ASAP intervention program shows promise in reducing the incidence of postdischarge suicide attempts among adolescents hospitalized for suicidality and merits further study.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Psychiatry and Mental health