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Development of a Positive Psychology Intervention to Reduce Suicide Risk (HOPE)

This study has been completed.
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Jeff C. Huffman, MD, Massachusetts General Hospital Identifier:
First received: July 15, 2011
Last updated: March 4, 2013
Last verified: March 2013

This pilot study will recruit patients admitted to the inpatient psychiatric unit at MGH for suicidal ideation or a suicide attempt. Inclusion criteria will be broad to increase enrollment rates and obtain information for patients with a wide range of diagnoses and illness severity. Enrolled subjects will complete randomly-selected positive psychology exercises daily (on weekdays) until discharge and will rate the exercises in multiple domains. Subjects' participation will be complete at the end of their admission or when all exercises have been completed, whichever comes first.

Overall, our goal is to assess the acceptability and utility of eight possible positive psychology interventions related to gratitude, optimism, kindness, mindfulness, recollection, and forgiveness in suicidal inpatients.

This is a single-arm study, completed with patients who have been admitted to the hospital for suicidal ideation or a suicide attempt. It is aimed at developing a positive psychology treatment aimed at suicidal patients. The study consists of serial completion of different positive psychology exercises, once daily, during admission, to get subjects' input on their feasibility and impact. This will allow us to work collaboratively to identify the specific exercises that best fit this population. Subjects' participation ends when they are discharged from the hospital. The investigators plan to enroll 30 subjects at MGH (and total) in this study.

Condition Intervention
Suicidal Ideation
Suicide Attempt
Other: Positive Psychology Exercises

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Endpoint Classification: Efficacy Study
Intervention Model: Single Group Assignment
Masking: Open Label
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: Development of a Positive Psychology Intervention to Reduce Suicide Risk

Resource links provided by NLM:

Further study details as provided by Massachusetts General Hospital:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • Completion of exercises [ Time Frame: Every 24 hours until all exercises administered or discharge occurs ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]
    Exercises assigned each day and assessed for completion the next day (a total of eight exercises)

Secondary Outcome Measures:
  • Optimism [ Time Frame: Baseline and on the date of discharge (average length of admission= 2 weeks) ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]
    Life Orientation Test-Revised

  • Feasibility and utility of exercises [ Time Frame: Assessed within 24 hours of exercise completion ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]
    Self-report using Likert scale

  • Hopelessness [ Time Frame: Baseline and on the date of discharge (average length of admission=2 weeks) ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]
    Beck Hopelessness Scale

Enrollment: 60
Study Start Date: May 2011
Study Completion Date: March 2013
Primary Completion Date: March 2013 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Arms Assigned Interventions
Experimental: Positive Psychology Exercises Other: Positive Psychology Exercises
At each session, the interventionalist will prepare the subject to complete a randomly-selected positive psychology exercise, lasting approximately 20 minutes, within the next 24 hours. He or she will describe the rationale for the exercise and the details of the exercise, and will answer any questions. A sheet with written instructions (matching the verbal instructions) for the exercise will be provided, with space for recording the exercise and an area to provide ratings on the exercise. On the following day, the interventionalist will review the prior day's exercise (and record whether it was completed). The exercises will be completed daily on weekdays for a maximum of 8 days.


Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years and older   (Adult, Senior)
Genders Eligible for Study:   Both
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Adult (age 18 and older) admitted to inpatient psychiatric unit at Massachusetts General Hospital
  • Suicidal ideation at time of admission OR
  • Admission occurring in context of suicide attempt
  • Ability to read and write in English

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Psychotic symptoms
  • Cognitive disorder
  Contacts and Locations
Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the Contacts provided below. For general information, see Learn About Clinical Studies.

Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT01398891

United States, Massachusetts
Massachusetts General Hospital
Boston, Massachusetts, United States, 02114
Sponsors and Collaborators
Massachusetts General Hospital
Principal Investigator: Jeff C Huffman, MD Massachusetts General Hospital
  More Information

Responsible Party: Jeff C. Huffman, MD, Medical Director, Blake 11, Massachusetts General Hospital Identifier: NCT01398891     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: 2010P002826 
Study First Received: July 15, 2011
Last Updated: March 4, 2013
Health Authority: United States: Institutional Review Board

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Suicidal Ideation
Suicide, Attempted
Self-Injurious Behavior
Behavioral Symptoms processed this record on October 21, 2016