Trial document




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  DRKS00015781

Trial Description

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Title

The Impact of Expert Interviews in Suicide-Related Awareness Materials - Impact expert interviews

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Trial Acronym

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URL of the Trial

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Brief Summary in Lay Language

Previous studies have shown that non-sensationalist suicide portrayals in the media, particularly those that focus on coping with adverse circumstances, have the potential to reduce suicidality among audiences. However, studies aiming to investigate which characteristics of a media story of hope and recovery support this positive effect the most are scarce. There is currently a lively debate among scholars, whether or not a clinician should disclose own suicidal crises in the past to patients in order to create the potential for strong horizontal identification with the clinician and his or her own story of recovery. The present study is a randomized controlled online trial. 656 participants recruited from the general population are exposed to one of three possible media stories: Group #1 is exposed to a newspaper report focusing on an interview with a suicide expert talking about overcoming suicidal crises. In this story that expert makes it clear that she has not previously experienced a suicidal crisis in her own life. Group #2 is exposed to the same article, however in this version the expert discloses that she has experienced and overcome a suicidal crisis in the past. Group #3 (control group) is exposed to an interview with an expert talking about a health topic unrelated to suicide or mental health. Data on the audience’s risk factors for suicide and knowledge about suicide are collected before the experiment and immediately after story exposure. Participants will be users of the noncommercial online panel Social Science Survey.

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Brief Summary in Scientific Language

The education of the public on how to detect suicidality and how to cope with it is a frequent element in suicide prevention initiatives. In spite of this, there is a scarcity of research on the effects of printed awareness material targeting individuals in psychosocial crises or experiencing suicidal ideation.
A randomized controlled trial on the impact of educative suicide prevention websites showed that these websites have a positive effect on individuals from the general population: There was a sustained increase in suicide-related knowledge and a sustained reduction in suicidal ideation among participants, which was attributed to a particular increase in coping beliefs. The reduction of suicidal ideation was particularly strong among participants with higher baseline suicidality.
The present study aims to test the impact of printed suicide prevention material on readers’ suicidal ideation and suicide-related knowledge. The study also aims to explore whether there is a difference in terms of impact, whether or not the protagonist of the article discloses personal experience of suicidal ideation. We will also explore which other variables influence the impact of the awareness material such as vulnerability.
We propose a randomized controlled trial that will be conducted online and use quantitative methods of data collection. Participants will be recruited online via e-mails sent to registered users of the online panel of Social Science Survey.
In total, 656 participants will be recruited. Only individuals above 18 years of age will be invited to participate. Questionnaires will be completed before (T1) and after article exposure (T2). Only validated and standardized questionnaires will be used in this study.
Participants will be randomized to one of three groups. Participants of the control group will be exposed to health material unrelated to suicide or mental health. The intervention groups will be exposed to suicide awareness material. Group #1 will be exposed to a news report focusing on an interview with a suicide expert talking about overcoming suicidal crises. In this story that expert makes it clear that she has not previously experienced a suicidal crisis in her own life. Group #2 will be exposed to the same article, however in this version the expert discloses that she has experienced and overcome a suicidal crisis in the past. Participants will be asked to carefully read the respective article. In order to assess the impact of the material, suicidal ideation and suicide-related knowledge will be measured with the Reasons for Living Inventory and with various items from questionnaires on suicide myths at T1 and T2.
We will investigate whether the material decrease suicidal ideation (primary hypothesis) and increases suicide-related knowledge (secondary hypothesis). We will explore, if effects differ with regard to mode of delivery of the message by an expert with vs. without personal experience of suicidal ideation. We further hypothesize that the effect will be stronger if participants have some degree of vulnerability to suicide.

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Organizational Data

  •   DRKS00015781
  •   2018/10/24
  •   2017/03/15
  •   yes
  •   Approved
  •   1285/2017, Ethikkommission der Medizinischen Universität Wien, Borschkegasse 8b/E06, 1090 Wien, Österreich, http://ethikkommission.meduniwien.ac.at/ethik-kommission/kontakt/
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Secondary IDs

  •   AEARCTR-0002100  (The American Economic Association's registry for randomized controlled trials)
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Health Condition or Problem studied

  •   Suicidal ideation (Reasons for Living)
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Interventions/Observational Groups

  •   Individuals from the general population will read an awareness article on suicide prevention featuring an expert WITHOUT personal experience with suicidal ideation. Before and after exposure suicidal ideation and suicide-related knowledge will be assessed with questionnaires.
  •   Individuals from the general population will read an awareness article on suicide prevention featuring an expert WITH personal experience with suicidal ideation. Before and after exposure suicidal ideation and suicide-related knowledge will be assessed with questionnaires.
  •   Individuals from the general population will read an awareness article on a health topic unrelated to suicide or mental health. Before and after exposure suicidal ideation and suicide-related knowledge will be assessed with questionnaires.
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Characteristics

  •   Interventional
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  •   Randomized controlled trial
  •   Blinded
  •   patient/subject
  •   Other
  •   Prevention
  •   Parallel
  •   N/A
  •   N/A
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Primary Outcome

Suicidal ideation, assessed before (T1) and after (T2) article exposure with Reasons for Living Inventory (questionnaire)

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Secondary Outcome

Knowledge on suicide; measured at T1 and T2 with various items from questionnaires on suicide myths

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Countries of Recruitment

  •   Austria
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Locations of Recruitment

  • other 
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Recruitment

  •   Actual
  •   2017/04/25
  •   656
  •   Monocenter trial
  •   National
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Inclusion Criteria

  •   Both, male and female
  •   18   Years
  •   99   Years
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Additional Inclusion Criteria

at least 18 years of age, German language skills

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Exclusion Criteria

younger than 18 years, no German language skills

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Addresses

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    • Medizinische Universität Wien
    • Mr.  Ass.-Prof. Priv.-Doz. Mag. Dr.  Benedikt  Till 
    • Kinderspitalgasse 15
    • 1090  Wien
    • Austria
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    • Medizinische Universität Wien
    • Mr.  Ass.-Prof. Priv.-Doz. Mag. Dr.  Benedikt  Till 
    • Kinderspitalgasse 15
    • 1090  Wien
    • Austria
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    • Medizinische Universität Wien
    • Mr.  Ass.-Prof. Priv.-Doz. Mag. Dr.  Benedikt  Till 
    • Kinderspitalgasse 15
    • 1090  Wien
    • Austria
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Sources of Monetary or Material Support

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    • Medizinische Universität Wien
    • Spitalgasse 23
    • 1090  Wien
    • Austria
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    •   [---]*
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Status

  •   Recruiting complete, follow-up complete
  •   2017/05/07
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Trial Publications, Results and other Documents

  •   Positives Votum der Ethik-Kommission
  •   Studienprotokoll
  •   Till, B., Arendt, F., Scherr, S., & Niederkrotenthaler, T. (2018). Effect of educative suicide prevention news articles featuring experts with vs without personal experience of suicidal ideation: A randomized controlled trial of the Papageno effect. Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 80(1). pii: 17m11975. doi: 10.4088/JCP.17m11975.
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* This entry means the parameter is not applicable or has not been set.