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Suicide Prevention Public Service Announcements (PSAs) Targeting Adolescents: A Randomized Controlled Trial
Last registered on August 01, 2017

Pre-Trial

Trial Information
General Information
Title
Suicide Prevention Public Service Announcements (PSAs) Targeting Adolescents: A Randomized Controlled Trial
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0002362
Initial registration date
July 31, 2017
Last updated
August 01, 2017 3:22 PM EDT
Location(s)

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Primary Investigator
Affiliation
Medical University of Vienna
Other Primary Investigator(s)
Additional Trial Information
Status
In development
Start date
2018-05-20
End date
2021-05-31
Secondary IDs
Abstract
Adolescent suicide is a major problem in most Western countries. One of the strategies that has received increasing support internationally to combat youth suicide are media campaigns, particularly in the form of TV public service announcements (PSAs). However, studies investigating the impact of PSAs are scarce. The aims of this project are to assess positive and negative effects (in terms of suicidal ideation, attitudes towards suicide, emotional well-being, and likelihood of help-seeking).
The project will be conducted in Vienna, Austria, over three phases. In Phase 1, we will run a school project for high school students to develop suicide prevention PSAs. In Phase 2, we will conduct focus groups with the participating students to analyze their experiences with the development of the PSAs. In Phase 3, we will conduct a randomized controlled trial of the best PSA, as assessed by an international jury. 288 16-19 year olds will be recruited from schools and randomly allocated to view (a) the suicide prevention PSA or (b) a control PSA on an unrelated health issue with similar stylistic features. At Time 1 (pre-viewing), participant will complete a socio-demographic questionnaire and a series of outcome measures (see below), including a measure of current suicidality. At Time 2 (immediately post-viewing), participants will additionally complete questionnaires about the PSA itself, and about identification with the protagonists. At Time 3 (four weeks post-viewing), participants will complete the outcome measures from Time 1, and the questionnaire about the PSA.
We will use the following measures: (a) Reasons for Living Inventory for Adolescents (to assess suicidality ― this is the primary outcome variable); (b) The Beck Hopelessness Scale (to assess current suicide risk for screening purposes at T1); (c) Mood subscale of the Affective State Scale (to assess mood), (d) Questionnaire on Attitudes Towards Suicide ( to assess attitudes about suicide); (e) Stigma of Suicide Scale (to assess stigma towards suicide); (f) General Help Seeking Questionnaire (to assess help-seeking intentions); (g) Identification Scale (to assess identification with the protagonists). Interaction effects of identification and vulnerability with regard to suicidality and the secondary outcomes will be analyzed.
The project is innovative in several ways: It uses PSAs that are produced by young people and therefore more likely to resonate with young people. Further, it analyzes both potential harmful and protective effects, and addresses the impact of vulnerability and identification on the effects of awareness materials. A further strength is the assessment of the sustainability of effects. The project will provide public health organizations with important knowledge on how to tailor video materials to the needs of young people, and will allow them to better balance the risks and benefits involved in suicide awareness campaigns targeting youth.
External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Citation
Niederkrotenthaler, Thomas. 2017. "Suicide Prevention Public Service Announcements (PSAs) Targeting Adolescents: A Randomized Controlled Trial." AEA RCT Registry. August 01. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.2362-1.0.
Former Citation
Niederkrotenthaler, Thomas. 2017. "Suicide Prevention Public Service Announcements (PSAs) Targeting Adolescents: A Randomized Controlled Trial." AEA RCT Registry. August 01. http://www.socialscienceregistry.org/trials/2362/history/20034.
Experimental Details
Interventions
Intervention(s)
288 16-19 year olds will be recruited from schools and randomly allocated to view (a) the suicide prevention PSA or (b) a control PSA on an unrelated health issue with similar stylistic features.
Intervention Start Date
2019-02-03
Intervention End Date
2020-12-31
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
At Time 1 (pre-viewing), participant will complete a socio-demographic questionnaire and a series of outcome measures (see below), including a measure of current suicidality. At Time 2 (immediately post-viewing), participants will additionally complete questionnaires about the PSA itself, and about identification with the protagonists. At Time 3 (four weeks post-viewing), participants will complete the outcome measures from Time 1, and the questionnaire about the PSA.
We will use the following measures: (a) Reasons for Living Inventory for Adolescents (to assess suicidality ― this is the primary outcome variable); (b) The Beck Hopelessness Scale (to assess current suicide risk for screening purposes at T1); (c) Mood subscale of the Affective State Scale (to assess mood), (d) Questionnaire on Attitudes Towards Suicide ( to assess attitudes about suicide); (e) Stigma of Suicide Scale (to assess stigma towards suicide); (f) General Help Seeking Questionnaire (to assess help-seeking intentions); (g) Identification Scale (to assess identification with the protagonists). Interaction effects of identification and vulnerability with regard to suicidality and the secondary outcomes will be analyzed.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
Randomized controlled Trial.
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
rondomization done with randomizatio nsoftware in Office.
Randomization Unit
individual
Was the treatment clustered?
No
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
n=288 individuals
Sample size: planned number of observations
n=288 individuals
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
Participants will either be in the Intervention or Control arm of the study; Distribution 1:1.
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
IRB
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS (IRBs)
IRB Name
Medical University of Vienna
IRB Approval Date
2014-05-26
IRB Approval Number
1306/2014