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Eur Child Adolesc Psychiatry ; 2021 Nov 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1544477


Suicide prevention videos featuring young people's personal narratives of hope and recovery are increasingly used in suicide prevention, but research on their effects is scarce. A double-blind randomized controlled trial was conducted to test the effects of a suicide prevention video featuring an adolescent mastering his suicidal ideation by getting help on 14 to 19-year-olds. N = 299 adolescents were randomly allocated to watch the intervention video (n = 148) or a control video unrelated to mental health (n = 151). Questionnaire data were collected before (T1) and immediately after exposure (T2), and 4 weeks later (T3). Data were analyzed with a repeated-measures ANCOVA. The primary outcome was suicidal ideation, assessed with the Reasons for Living Inventory for Adolescents. Secondary outcomes were help-seeking intentions, attitudes towards suicide, stigmatization of suicidality, and mood. There was an immediate beneficial effect of the intervention on suicidal ideation (T2 mean change from baseline within intervention group MChange = - 0.16 [95% CI - 0.20 to - 0.12], mean difference compared to control group MDiff = - 0.09 [95% CI - 0.15 to - 0.03], ηp2 = 0.03), which was not maintained at T3. Participants reported significantly higher help-seeking intentions, which was maintained at 4-week follow-up. They also reported a sustained reduction of favorable attitudes to suicide. Effects on suicidal ideation were mediated by identification with the featured protagonist. Adolescents appear to benefit from suicide prevention narratives featuring personal stories from peers on coping with suicidal ideation and help-seeking.Trial registration DRKS00017405; 24/09/19; retrospectively registered.