Year: 2019 Source: Journal of Medical Internet Research. (2019). 21(5). SIEC No: 20190349

Background: Nearly half of people who die by suicide see a health care provider in the month before their death. With the release of new care guidelines, detection of suicidal patients will likely increase. Providers need access to suicide-specific resources that can be used as part of immediate, brief interventions with a suicidal patient. Web-based suicide prevention resources have the potential to address this need.
Objective: This study aimed to describe the development of the website as a resource for individuals with suicidal thoughts and to evaluate the utility of the site via user experience surveys.
Methods: is an online video-based free public resource that provides evidence-based teachings, examples, and resources for managing suicidal thoughts and intense emotions focused largely around skills from dialectical behavior therapy. Developed with assistance from mental health consumers, it is intended to address gaps in access to services for suicidal patients in health care systems. Visitors stay an average of a minute and a half on the website. From March 2015 to December 2017, a user experience survey measured self-reported changes on a 1 (not at all) to 5 (completely overwhelming) scale regarding intensity of suicidal thoughts and negative emotions while on the website. Longitudinal regression analyses using generalized estimating equations evaluated the magnitude and statistical significance of user-reported changes in suicidal ideation and negative emotion. In secondary analyses, user-reported changes specific to subgroups, including men aged 36 to 64 years, mental health care providers, and other health care providers were evaluated.
Results: During the period of analysis, there were 138,386 unique website visitors. We analyzed surveys (N=3670) collected during that time. Subsamples included men aged 36 to 64 years (n=512), mental health providers (n=460), and other health care providers (n=308). A total of 28% (1028/3670) of survey completers rated their suicidal thoughts as a 5 or “completely overwhelming” when they entered the website. We observed significant reductions in self-reported intensity of suicidal thoughts (–0.21, P<.001) and negative emotions (–0.32, P<.001), including decreases for users with the most severe suicidal thoughts (–6.4%, P<.001), most severe negative emotions (–10.9%, P<.001), and for middle-aged men (–0.13, P<001). Results remained significant after controlling for length of visit to website (before the survey) and technology type (mobile, desktop, and tablet).
Conclusions: Survey respondents reported measurable reductions in intensity of suicidal thoughts and emotions, including those rating their suicidal thoughts as completely or almost completely overwhelming and among middle-aged men. Although results from this user-experience survey administered at one point in time to a convenience sample of users must be interpreted with caution, results provide preliminary support for the potential effectiveness of the website as a tool for short-term management of suicidal thoughts and negative emotions.