Year: 2022 Source: Military Medicine. (2022). usac169. SIEC No: 20220520

The U.S. Army developed a new tool called the Behavioral Health Readiness and Suicide Risk Reduction Review (R4) for suicide prevention. A 12-month evaluation study with the primary objective of testing the hypothesis (H1) that Army units receiving R4 would demonstrate improved outcomes in suicidal-behavior measures following the intervention, relative to control, was then conducted. The results of analyses to answer H1 are herein presented.
Materials and Methods
The R4 intervention (R4-tools/instructions/orientation) evaluation study, Institutional Review Board approved and conducted in May 2019-June 2020, drew samples from two U.S. Army divisions and employed a repeated measurement in pre-/post-quasi-experimental design, including a nonequivalent, but comparable, business-as-usual control. Intervention effectiveness was evaluated using self-report responses to suicide-related measures (Suicide Behaviors Questionnaire—Revised/total-suicide behaviors/ideations/plans/attempts/non-suicidal self-injuries) at 6-/12-month intervals. Analyses examined baseline to follow-up linked and cross-sectional cohorts, incidence/prevalence, and intervention higher-/lower-use R4 subanalyses.
Both divisions demonstrated favorable in-study reductions in total-suicide burden, with relatively equivalent trends for total-suicide behaviors, total-suicide risk (Suicide Behaviors Questionnaire—Revised), suicidal ideations, and non-suicidal self-injuries. Although both demonstrated reductions in suicide plans, the control showed a more robust trend. Neither division demonstrated a significant reduction in suicide attempts, but subgroup analyses showed a significant reduction in pre-coronavirus disease 2019-attempt incidence among those with higher-use R4 relative to control.
There is no evidence of harm associated with the R4 intervention. R4 effectiveness as a function of R4 itself requires confirmatory study. R4 is judged an improvement (no evidence of harm + weak evidence of effectiveness) over the status quo (no safety data or effectiveness studies) with regard to tool-based decision-making support for suicide prevention in the U.S. Army.