Veterans with schizophrenia admitted for suicidal ideation were recruited into a post-discharge program consisting of Intensive Case Monitoring (ICM) with daily monitoring with the Health Buddy (HB; experimental group) or ICM alone (control group). This study tested the feasibility of the telehealth monitoring intervention in this population. Secondly, we determined whether augmentation of ICM with our intervention for 3 months would result in a reduction in suicidal ideation. Twenty of 25 telehealth participants could set up the device. Monthly adherence for telehealth participants was > 80%. A qualitative analysis of endpoint surveys revealed that the majority of participants had positive responses. In both groups, there were improvements in Beck Scale for Suicidal Ideation (BSS) scores at endpoint relative to baseline. No group differences were present with survival analysis when using remission (i.e., BSS score = 0) as the outcome; however, in a subgroup with a history of suicide attempt, there was a trend (p = .093) for a higher rate of remission for those in the HB condition. In conclusion, telehealth monitoring for this population appears to be feasible for those who are able to start using the system. The pilot data obtained should help investigators design better telehealth interventions for this population.
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