Background: Treatment for suicidality can be delivered online, but evidence for its effectiveness is needed. Objective: The goal of our study was to examine the effectiveness of an online self-help intervention for suicidal thinking compared to an attention-matched control program. Methods: A 2-arm randomized controlled trial was conducted with assessment at postintervention, 6, and, 12 months. Through media and community advertizing, 418 suicidal adults were recruited to an online portal and were delivered the intervention program (Living with Deadly Thoughts) or a control program (Living Well). The primary outcome was severity of suicidal thinking, assessed using the Columbia Suicide Severity Rating Scale. Results: Intention-to-treat analyses showed significant reductions in the severity of suicidal thinking at postintervention, 6, and 12 months. However, no overall group differences were found. Conclusions: Living with Deadly Thoughts was of no greater effectiveness than the control group. Further investigation into the conditions under which this program may be beneficial is now needed. Limitations of this trial include it being underpowered given the effect size ultimately observed, a high attrition rate, and the inability of determining suicide deaths or of verifying self-reported suicide attempts.
- Psychosocial interventions
- Randomized controlled trial