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Representations and impact of educative and prevention websites on suicide
Last registered on October 27, 2015

Pre-Trial

Trial Information
General Information
Title
Representations and impact of educative and prevention websites on suicide
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0000924
Initial registration date
October 27, 2015
Last updated
October 27, 2015 4:49 AM EDT
Location(s)
Region
Primary Investigator
Affiliation
Medical University of Vienna, Center for Public Health, Department of Social and Preventive Medicine
Other Primary Investigator(s)
PI Affiliation
Medical University of Vienna, Center for Public Health, Institute of Social Medicine, Suicide Research Unit
Additional Trial Information
Status
Completed
Start date
2014-03-03
End date
2015-01-30
Secondary IDs
Abstract
Public health organizations dedicated to suicide prevention frequently use websites to educate the public about suicide, but studies investigating the impact of these websites on individuals with varying degree of suicidality are scarce. We investigated the impact of three educative suicide prevention websites compared to a website not related to suicide and tested the moderating effect of the participants’ baseline suicidality on the effects. We conducted a randomized controlled trial with 160 adults who were assigned to four groups. Data on the audience’s risk factors for suicide and knowledge about suicide were collected before the experiment (T1, baseline), immediately after website exposure (T2) and one week later (T3). We stratified the sample into two groups by the median of suicidality at baseline. We investigated the impact of websites further with qualitative interviews of 12 participants.
External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Citation
Niederkrotenthaler, Thomas and Benedikt Till. 2015. "Representations and impact of educative and prevention websites on suicide." AEA RCT Registry. October 27. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.924-1.0.
Former Citation
Niederkrotenthaler, Thomas and Benedikt Till. 2015. "Representations and impact of educative and prevention websites on suicide." AEA RCT Registry. October 27. https://www.socialscienceregistry.org/trials/924/history/5767.
Experimental Details
Interventions
Intervention(s)
We investigated the impact of three educative suicide prevention websites compared to a website not related to suicide and tested the moderating effect of participants’ baseline suicidality on the effects. Group 1 viewed the website of the Youth-Life-Line, Group 2 was exposed to the website of U25 Freiburg, and participants of Group 3 were presented with the website of Friends for Life. The control group viewed the website of the Austrian boy scouts. The participants were instructed that they had 10 minutes to browse through the website, search for information on suicide and suicide prevention, and learn about all aspects of the topic they perceived as relevant. Questionnaires on mood, suicidal ideation, suicide-related knowledge, and attitudes toward suicide and seeking professional help were completed before (T1) and immediately after exposure to the website (T2) as well as approximately one week later (T3) to test the persistence of any effect. The participants were instructed to not search for information on suicide or suicide prevention between T2 and T3 or talk with other participants about this study. Based on ethical considerations, suicidal participants, defined as individuals with a score of ≥ 34 on the German version of the Beck Hopelessness Scale, which was completed at T1, were offered counselling by a psychologist and excluded from the study. After the intervention, we offered psychological counselling to all participants to help them cope with any distress resulting from exposure to the website or from answering questions related to suicidality. All participants received a gift voucher amounting to 5 Euro for their participation in the study. The study was conducted at the Center for Public Health, Medical University of Vienna, Austria, and was approved by the ethical review board (study protocol 2063/2013, date: 2014-01-27).
Intervention Start Date
2014-03-03
Intervention End Date
2015-01-30
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
Mood, suicidal ideation, suicide-related knowledge, and attitudes toward suicide and seeking professional help. All Parameters were assessed with questionnaires.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
We investigated the impact of three educative suicide prevention websites compared to a website not related to suicide and tested the moderating effect of participants’ baseline suicidality on the effects.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
The participants randomly selected their computer workstation, which were pre-programed with one of the four websites. This procedure was conducted until all groups included the maximum number of participants (n = 40).
Randomization Unit
This trial was a individually randomised controlled trial, not a cluster randomised controlled trial.
Was the treatment clustered?
No
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
160 individuals, no clusters
Sample size: planned number of observations
160
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
40 individuals in each of the 3 interventions groups and 40 individuals in the control group
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
IRB
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS (IRBs)
IRB Name
Ethikkommission der Medizinischen Universität Wien
IRB Approval Date
2014-01-27
IRB Approval Number
2063/2013
Post-Trial
Post Trial Information
Study Withdrawal
Intervention
Is the intervention completed?
No
Is data collection complete?
Data Publication
Data Publication
Is public data available?
No
Program Files
Program Files
Reports and Papers
Preliminary Reports
Relevant Papers