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Evaluation of a School-Based Training Program for Suicide Prevention

This study has been completed.
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Information provided by:
University of Rochester Identifier:
First received: July 6, 2005
Last updated: June 27, 2013
Last verified: June 2013
This study will determine whether a training program designed to help school staff members identify adolescents at risk for suicide will increase the number of students who are referred to mental health services.

Condition Intervention Phase
Suicide Behavioral: Question, Persuade, Refer (QPR) training Phase 2 Phase 3

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: None (Open Label)
Primary Purpose: Prevention
Official Title: RCT of Gatekeeper Training for Suicide Prevention

Resource links provided by NLM:

Further study details as provided by University of Rochester:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • Rates of referrals for students identified as suicidal risks
  • school staff knowledge and attitudes
  • outcomes of mental health evaluations for accurate detection of suicidal risk

Estimated Enrollment: 50000
Study Start Date: March 2004
Study Completion Date: December 2006
Primary Completion Date: December 2006 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Detailed Description:

The rate of suicide among adolescents has significantly increased in recent years. Psychiatric disorders are often associated with increased suicide risk; therefore, the ability to identify adolescents with signs of depression and other psychiatric conditions is clear. This study will determine the effectiveness of a suicide prevention training program called Question, Persuade, Refer (QPR) in increasing the number of potentially suicidal adolescents who are referred to mental health services. The training is designed to help school staff recognize signs that a student may be suicidal, provide tips on how to question students about any suicidal thoughts they may have, and provide techniques to persuade students to seek suicide prevention help.

School staff will be randomly assigned to either receive QPR training for 2 years starting immediately or be placed on a waiting list for later training. The rates of referral to the school district's prevention/intervention centers will be used to assess the effectiveness of QPR training. In addition, the impact of QPR training on school staff members' knowledge and attitudes about intervening with at-risk students will be assessed through surveys at four time points over the 2-year study duration with a randomly selected portion of staff in the 32 participating schools. Surveys completed by randomly selected 8th and 10th grade students will also be used to determine whether the intervention is effective in reducing suicidal thoughts or attempts.

Study hypothesis: More students in schools that have Question, Persuade, Refer (QPR)-trained staff will be referred for a mental health evaluation than in schools without QPR-trained staff.


Ages Eligible for Study:   Child, Adult, Senior
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   Yes

Inclusion Criteria for School Staff Members:

  • Currently working as a staff member in Cobb County school district

Inclusion Criteria for Students:

  • Parent or guardian willing to provide informed consent
  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: NCT00118443

United States, Georgia
Cobb County School District
Marietta, Georgia, United States, 30061
Sponsors and Collaborators
University of Rochester
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Principal Investigator: Peter Wyman, PhD University of Rochester
  More Information

Responsible Party: Peter Wyman, PhD, University of Rochester Medical Center Identifier: NCT00118443     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: R34MH071189 ( U.S. NIH Grant/Contract )
Study First Received: July 6, 2005
Last Updated: June 27, 2013

Keywords provided by University of Rochester:
Suicide Prevention
School Teachers

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Self-Injurious Behavior
Behavioral Symptoms processed this record on September 19, 2017