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Skills to Enhance Positive Affect in Suicidal Adolescents (STEP)

The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Read our disclaimer for details.
 
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT02130583
Recruitment Status : Completed
First Posted : May 5, 2014
Results First Posted : January 24, 2019
Last Update Posted : March 5, 2019
Sponsor:
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Shirley Yen, Brown University

Brief Summary:
The prevalence of suicidal behaviors in adolescents remains unacceptably high and is a significant public health concern. The investigators propose a new treatment approach in which skills to increase positive emotions are taught to the most vulnerable at-risk adolescents, those admitted to an inpatient psychiatric unit due to suicide risk. The investigators believe that teaching skills to increase positive emotions will lead to better problem-solving, increased social support, and other benefits which will serve as protective factors and decrease suicide risk.

Condition or disease Intervention/treatment Phase
Suicidal Ideation Suicide, Attempted Behavioral: Positive Affect Skills Training Behavioral: Treatment as Usual Not Applicable

Detailed Description:
The prevalence of suicidal behaviors in adolescents remains unacceptably high. Reviews of published randomized controlled trials (RCTs) for adolescent suicidality conclude that treatments to date have been minimally efficacious. The preponderance of interventions focus on crisis intervention, underlying psychiatric disorders, regulating negative affect and reducing cognitive distortions. However, our pilot work and other recent data suggest the importance of considering how low positive affectivity contributes to suicide risk independent of other risk factors and may be another mechanism that leads to suicidal behaviors. Our model is based on Fredrickson's empirically-supported Broaden and Build model which asserts that the function of positive affect (PA) includes helping individuals thrive by improving social supports, problem-solving, and personal resilience. Each of these areas is instrumental in decreasing suicidal behavior. We propose that PA increases survival directly by decreasing suicidal ideation and indirectly by increasing social support and problem-solving. In this R34 treatment development grant we seek to develop a novel, individual skills-based, PA intervention, delivered adjunctively to treatment as usual (TAU), targeting the highest risk adolescents - those hospitalized due to suicide risk. We focus on three strategies that have been demonstrated to increase sustainable (vs. transient) PA in community and depressed adults: meditation, gratitude, and savoring. There are several ways to practice each strategy; we take into account patient preferences in a personalized approach in which patients select the practice(s) that fits best with their needs and circumstances. We propose using multiple means of intervention delivery that includes text messaging, to reinforce in-vivo practice. Our intervention, Skills To Enhance Positivity Program (STEP) includes two phases: a) in-person phase consisting of 3 individual in-person sessions and 1 joint parent session during the inpatient hospital stay to teach positive affect skills and develop a personalized intervention; b) remote delivery phase which consists of weekly telephone booster calls and daily text messages over 4 weeks post-discharge. The phone calls will be used to review or adjust personalized intervention components and reinforce use of skills. The text messages will include self-scripted reminders to practice skills and links to online resources. STEP will be tested in an open trial with 20 participants, and after further revision, in a pilot RCT, compared to TAU in a sample of 50 adolescents. The primary goal of this intervention is for patients to increase positive affect by incorporating skills and practices into their normal home-based routines, which we believe will lead to increases in problem-solving and social support and decreases in suicidal ideation. This is a novel intervention for a high-risk acute population via a different mechanism (i.e. PA), and conceptually distinct from other empirically examined theoretical approaches.

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Study Type : Interventional  (Clinical Trial)
Actual Enrollment : 52 participants
Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Single (Outcomes Assessor)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: Skills to Enhance Positive Affect in Suicidal Adolescents
Study Start Date : August 2013
Actual Primary Completion Date : September 2, 2016
Actual Study Completion Date : September 2, 2016

Resource links provided by the National Library of Medicine

MedlinePlus related topics: Suicide

Arm Intervention/treatment
Experimental: Positive Affect Skills Training
Individual sessions (3-4) delivered on the inpatient unit, focused on psycho-education regarding positive affect and mood monitoring and teaching of skills to attend to positive affect such as mindfulness, gratitude, and savoring. In-person sessions are followed by weekly phone calls and daily text messages for one month, with option to extend.
Behavioral: Positive Affect Skills Training
Individual sessions (3-4) delivered on the inpatient unit, focused on psycho-education regarding positive affect and mood monitoring and teaching of skills to attend to positive affect such as mindfulness, gratitude, and savoring. In-person sessions are followed by weekly phone calls and daily text messages for one month, with option to extend.

Active Comparator: Treatment as Usual
Participants will follow the intervention plan laid out in their discharge summary, but do not receive any individual sessions regarding positive affect. Upon discharge, they will receive generic text messages regarding healthy habits for one month, with option to extend.
Behavioral: Treatment as Usual
Participants will follow the intervention plan laid out in their discharge summary, but do not receive any individual sessions regarding positive affect. Upon discharge, they will receive generic text messages regarding healthy habits for one month, with option to extend.




Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. Dot Probe Task [ Time Frame: Baseline, 1 month Post Treatment, 4 month Follow-Up ]
    Dot probe tasks are administered to assess for attentional biases. The task is a computer task in which participants are presented with stimuli (e.g., words) of different valences (positive/negative/neutral) at the same time (e.g., smiling face and a neutral face), followed by a probe (*) on one side. Participants are asked to hit a key that corresponds to the correct side in which the probe appeared. The reaction time of their response is indicative of their attention to the valenced image/word. Trials are counterbalanced so that valences appear equally on each side. Faster reaction time (less milliseconds) to positive images/words indicates an attentional bias for positive stimuli. The scores reported here represent bias scores. Positive scores indicate a bias to positive stimuli, negative scores indicate a bias towards neutral stimuli.

  2. Modified Differential Emotions Scale (Positive Emotions Sub-scale) [ Time Frame: Base, 1 month Post-Treatment, 4 month Follow-Up ]
    The Modified Differential Emotions Scale is a self-report measure comprised of ratings for positive and negative affect. For example, participants are asked to rate the extent to which they feel "Content, serene, peaceful right now" on a likert scale ranging from 1 (not at all) to 5 (extremely). The scores reported are averages for the positive emotions, and thus can be interpreted as ranging from 1 (not at all) to 5 (extremely). We expected an increase in positive affect ratings following the intervention.

  3. Suicide Events [ Time Frame: 1 month, 6 month ]
    Number of participants who have attempted suicide or have had emergency intervention to intercede a suicide attempt.


Secondary Outcome Measures :
  1. Suicide Ideation Questionnaire (SIQ) [ Time Frame: Baseline, 1 month Post-Treatment, 4 month Follow-Up ]
    The Suicidal Ideation Questionnaire is a 30 item self-report measure that was administered to the adolescent to ascertain the frequency of thoughts of death and suicide. Respondents are asked how often they have had these thoughts (e.g., "I thought about killing myself") in the past month ranging from "almost every day" = 1 to "I never had this thought" =7. Scores are then reversed and transformed such that higher scores indicate higher suicidal ideation, with a range of 180 (highest suicidal ideation) to 0 (no suicidal ideation).

  2. Beck Depression Inventory [ Time Frame: Baseline, 1 month Post-Treatment, 4 month Follow-Up ]
    The Beck Depression Inventory is a 21 item self-report form of depression but can be and has been administered to the parent to respond about their child. This questionnaire consists of 21 groups of statements. For example, for "Sadness", respondents are asked to select between 0 ("My child does not feel sad."), 1 ("My child feels sad much of the time"), 2 ("My child is sad all the time"), and 3 ("My child is so sad or unhappy that he/she can't stand it."). Higher scores indicate higher depression with a maximum score of 63 and a minimum score of 0.

  3. Columbia Impairment Scale Parent Version [ Time Frame: Base, 1 month Post-Treatment, 4 month Follow-Up ]
    The Columbia Impairment Scale (parent version) is a 13-item scale in which parents are asked to respond about their child's impairment in a variety of domains on a scale of 0 (no problem at all) to 4 (very bad problem). Scores are summed such that higher scored indicate higher functional impairment, with a maximum score of 52 and a minimum score of 0.


Other Outcome Measures:
  1. Hopelessness Scale for Children [ Time Frame: Baseline, 1 month Post-Treatment, 4 month Follow-Up ]
    The Hopelessness Scale for Children is a 17 item self-report scale with statements (e.g., I want to grow up because I think things will be better) that are rated as either True or False. Some statements are reverse coded. Higher scores indicate higher hopelessness, with a maximum score of 17 and a minimum score of 0.



Information from the National Library of Medicine

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Ages Eligible for Study:   12 Years to 18 Years   (Child, Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No
Criteria

Inclusion Criteria:

  • current hospital admission due to concern of suicide risk
  • ability of patient to speak, read, and understand English sufficiently well to complete the procedures of the study
  • living at home

Exclusion Criteria:

  • active psychotic disorder
  • cognitive deficits that preclude full understanding of study materials
  • adolescents who have become wards of the state and do not intend to return to the home of their biological or adoptive parents

Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its ClinicalTrials.gov identifier (NCT number): NCT02130583


Locations
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United States, Rhode Island
Butler Hospital
Providence, Rhode Island, United States, 02906
Sponsors and Collaborators
Brown University
Investigators
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Principal Investigator: Shirley Yen, Ph.D. Brown University
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Responsible Party: Shirley Yen, Associate Professor (Research), Brown University
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT02130583    
Other Study ID Numbers: R34MH101272 ( U.S. NIH Grant/Contract )
First Posted: May 5, 2014    Key Record Dates
Results First Posted: January 24, 2019
Last Update Posted: March 5, 2019
Last Verified: February 2019
Individual Participant Data (IPD) Sharing Statement:
Plan to Share IPD: Yes
Plan Description: Data available upon completion of study by request.
Supporting Materials: Study Protocol
Informed Consent Form (ICF)
Clinical Study Report (CSR)
Time Frame: 9/1/17
Access Criteria: Please contact PI at 401-444-1915
Additional relevant MeSH terms:
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Suicide
Suicidal Ideation
Suicide, Attempted
Self-Injurious Behavior
Behavioral Symptoms