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      Toward mHealth Brief Contact Interventions in Suicide Prevention: Case Series From the Suicide Intervention Assisted by Messages (SIAM) Randomized Controlled Trial

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          Research indicates that maintaining contact either via letter or postcard with at-risk adults following discharge from care services after a suicide attempt (SA) can reduce reattempt risk. Pilot studies have demonstrated that interventions using mobile health (mHealth) technologies are feasible in a suicide prevention setting.


          The aim of this study was to report three cases of patients recruited in the Suicide Intervention Assisted by Messages (SIAM) study to describe how a mobile intervention may influence follow-up.


          SIAM is a 2-year, multicenter randomized controlled trial conducted by the Brest University Hospital, France. Participants in the intervention group receive SIAM text messages 48 hours after discharge, then at day 8 and day 15, and months 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6. The study includes participants aged 18 years or older, who have attended a participating hospital for an SA, and have been discharged from the emergency department (ED) or a psychiatric unit (PU) for a stay of less than 7 days. Eligible participants are randomized between the SIAM intervention messages and a control group. In this study, we present three cases from the ongoing SIAM study that demonstrate the capability of a mobile-based brief contact intervention for triggering patient-initiated contact with a crisis support team at various time points throughout the mobile-based follow-up period.


          Out of the 244 patients recruited in the SIAM randomized controlled trial, three cases were selected to illustrate the impact of mHealth on suicide risk management. Participants initiated contact with the emergency crisis support service after receiving text messages up to 6 months following discharge from the hospital. Contact was initiated immediately following receipt of a text message or up to 6 days following a message.


          This text message–based brief contact intervention has demonstrated the potential to reconnect suicidal individuals with crisis support services while they are experiencing suicidal ideation as well as in a period after receiving messages. As follow-up phone calls over an extended period of time may not be feasible, this intervention has the potential to offer simple technological support for individuals following discharge from the ED.

          Trial Registration

 NCT02106949; (Archived by WebCite at

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          The Columbia-Suicide Severity Rating Scale: initial validity and internal consistency findings from three multisite studies with adolescents and adults.

          Research on suicide prevention and interventions requires a standard method for assessing both suicidal ideation and behavior to identify those at risk and to track treatment response. The Columbia-Suicide Severity Rating Scale (C-SSRS) was designed to quantify the severity of suicidal ideation and behavior. The authors examined the psychometric properties of the scale. The C-SSRS's validity relative to other measures of suicidal ideation and behavior and the internal consistency of its intensity of ideation subscale were analyzed in three multisite studies: a treatment study of adolescent suicide attempters (N=124); a medication efficacy trial with depressed adolescents (N=312); and a study of adults presenting to an emergency department for psychiatric reasons (N=237). The C-SSRS demonstrated good convergent and divergent validity with other multi-informant suicidal ideation and behavior scales and had high sensitivity and specificity for suicidal behavior classifications compared with another behavior scale and an independent suicide evaluation board. Both the ideation and behavior subscales were sensitive to change over time. The intensity of ideation subscale demonstrated moderate to strong internal consistency. In the adolescent suicide attempters study, worst-point lifetime suicidal ideation on the C-SSRS predicted suicide attempts during the study, whereas the Scale for Suicide Ideation did not. Participants with the two highest levels of ideation severity (intent or intent with plan) at baseline had higher odds for attempting suicide during the study. These findings suggest that the C-SSRS is suitable for assessment of suicidal ideation and behavior in clinical and research settings.
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            The effectiveness of M-health technologies for improving health and health services: a systematic review protocol

            Background The application of mobile computing and communication technology is rapidly expanding in the fields of health care and public health. This systematic review will summarise the evidence for the effectiveness of mobile technology interventions for improving health and health service outcomes (M-health) around the world. Findings To be included in the review interventions must aim to improve or promote health or health service use and quality, employing any mobile computing and communication technology. This includes: (1) interventions designed to improve diagnosis, investigation, treatment, monitoring and management of disease; (2) interventions to deliver treatment or disease management programmes to patients, health promotion interventions, and interventions designed to improve treatment compliance; and (3) interventions to improve health care processes e.g. appointment attendance, result notification, vaccination reminders. A comprehensive, electronic search strategy will be used to identify controlled studies, published since 1990, and indexed in MEDLINE, EMBASE, PsycINFO, Global Health, Web of Science, the Cochrane Library, or the UK NHS Health Technology Assessment database. The search strategy will include terms (and synonyms) for the following mobile electronic devices (MEDs) and a range of compatible media: mobile phone; personal digital assistant (PDA); handheld computer (e.g. tablet PC); PDA phone (e.g. BlackBerry, Palm Pilot); Smartphone; enterprise digital assistant; portable media player (i.e. MP3 or MP4 player); handheld video game console. No terms for health or health service outcomes will be included, to ensure that all applications of mobile technology in public health and health services are identified. Bibliographies of primary studies and review articles meeting the inclusion criteria will be searched manually to identify further eligible studies. Data on objective and self-reported outcomes and study quality will be independently extracted by two review authors. Where there are sufficient numbers of similar interventions, we will calculate and report pooled risk ratios or standardised mean differences using meta-analysis. Discussion This systematic review will provide recommendations on the use of mobile computing and communication technology in health care and public health and will guide future work on intervention development and primary research in this field.
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              A Systematic Assessment of Smartphone Tools for Suicide Prevention

              Background Suicide is a leading cause of death globally, and there has been a rapid growth in the use of new technologies such as mobile health applications (apps) to help identify and support those at risk. However, it is not known whether these apps are evidence-based, or indeed contain potentially harmful content. This review examines the concordance of features in publicly available apps with current scientific evidence of effective suicide prevention strategies. Methods Apps referring to suicide or deliberate self-harm (DSH) were identified on the Android and iOS app stores. Systematic review methodology was employed to screen and review app content. App features were labelled using a coding scheme that reflected the broad range of evidence-based medical and population-based suicide prevention interventions. Best-practice for suicide prevention was based upon a World Health Organization report and supplemented by other reviews of the literature. Results One hundred and twenty-three apps referring to suicide were identified and downloaded for full review, 49 of which were found to contain at least one interactive suicide prevention feature. Most apps focused on obtaining support from friends and family (n = 27) and safety planning (n = 14). Of the different suicide prevention strategies contained within the apps, the strongest evidence in the literature was found for facilitating access to crisis support (n = 13). All reviewed apps contained at least one strategy that was broadly consistent with the evidence base or best-practice guidelines. Apps tended to focus on a single suicide prevention strategy (mean = 1.1), although safety plan apps provided the opportunity to provide a greater number of techniques (mean = 3.9). Potentially harmful content, such as listing lethal access to means or encouraging risky behaviour in a crisis, was also identified. Discussion Many suicide prevention apps are available, some of which provide elements of best practice, but none that provide comprehensive evidence-based support. Apps with potentially harmful content were also identified. Despite the number of apps available, and their varied purposes, there is a clear need to develop useful, pragmatic, and multifaceted mobile resources for this population. Clinicians should be wary in recommending apps, especially as potentially harmful content can be presented as helpful. Currently safety plan apps are the most comprehensive and evidence-informed, for example, “Safety Net” and “MoodTools—Depression Aid”.

                Author and article information

                JMIR Mhealth Uhealth
                JMIR Mhealth Uhealth
                JMIR mHealth and uHealth
                JMIR Publications (Toronto, Canada )
                January 2018
                10 January 2018
                : 6
                : 1
                1 IMT Atlantique Lab-STICC Université Bretagne Loire F-29238 Brest Brest France
                2 EA 7479 SPURBO Université de Bretagne occidentale Brest France
                3 Black Dog Institute University of New South Wales Sydney Australia
                4 Adult Psychiatry Brest Medical University Hospital at Bohars Brest France
                5 Sys.Vision Lannion France
                6 Réseau HUGOPSY Rennes France
                Author notes
                Corresponding Author: Sofian Berrouiguet sofian.berrouiguet@
                ©Sofian Berrouiguet, Mark Erik Larsen, Catherine Mesmeur, Michel Gravey, Romain Billot, Michel Walter, HUGOPSY Network, Christophe Lemey, Philippe Lenca. Originally published in JMIR Mhealth and Uhealth (, 10.01.2018.

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work, first published in JMIR mhealth and uhealth, is properly cited. The complete bibliographic information, a link to the original publication on, as well as this copyright and license information must be included.

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