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Feasibility, acceptability, and preliminary effectiveness of a cognitive-behavioral suicide prevention-focused intervention tailored to adults diagnosed with schizophrenia spectrum disorders

August 2020 - August 2023

Suicide is among the leading causes of death for adults with schizophrenia, with risk estimates being over eight times greater than among the general population. While research has largely focused on depression and hopelessness, there is growing support for the role that symptoms of psychosis (e.g. hallucinations) play in suicide risk. Further, this high suicide rate continues to be a major public health concern given the paucity of evidence-based interventions to reduce suicidality in this population. We propose to modify and evaluate the acceptability and preliminary effectiveness of Cognitive Behavioral Suicide Prevention for psychosis (CBSPp), a promising intervention requiring protocol and implementation modifications to increase its utility in community mental health (CMH). The following modifications will be pursued given feedback from clients and providers: 1) modify and shorten treatment; 2) develop a hybrid technology-assisted provider training; and, 3) develop a between-session client text booster. Further innovations will be informed by engagement with stakeholders (clients, staff, providers, directors, and leaders) in CMH to review and gain feedback on the protocol. We will then test acceptability, feasibility, fidelity, and preliminary effectiveness of the modified CBSPp. Accordingly, the study aims to: 1) modify CBSPp for clients with schizophrenia spectrum and other psychotic disorders (SSPD) receiving CMH services, and 2) evaluate the feasibility and preliminary effectiveness of modified CBSPp in a randomized trial in comparison to services-as-usual (SAU). Aim 1 will involve: 1) the development of a hybrid technology-assisted CBSPp provider training, text boosters; 2) in-depth qualitative interviews to evaluate all CBSPp materials and delivery protocol with stakeholders, including 15 adults with SSPD and suicidal ideation and/or attempt (SI/A) within 3 months of screening and 10 CMH staff, providers, directors, and leaders); 3) CBSPp protocol and delivery, hybrid provider training, and text booster modifications with input from an expert panel of scholars; 4) an open pilot trial with 8 clients and 2 providers using modified CBSPp; 5) qualitative interviews with CBSPp delivery providers (n=2) and 5 staff, leaders, and directors in CMH to explore provider experiences and organizational impact of CBSPp implementation at the research site (Washtenaw County Community Mental Health; WCCMH); and, 6) final modifications prior to the Aim 2 trial. Aim 2 will involve a trial to test preliminary effectiveness and implementation of modified CBSPp (versus services as usual; SAU) among adults with SSPD and SI/SA within 3 months of screening (n=60). A 4-wave design will include quantitative assessments at baseline (T1), mid-test (T2), post-test (T3), and follow-up (T4) with in-depth qualitative interviews at T4 for a random sample of adults in the CBSPp group (n=10). Providers (n=8) will be trained to deliver CBSPp and be assessed T1-T4 to evaluate the implementation process, including in-depth qualitative interviews at T4. We will monitor fidelity, acceptability, usability, and feasibility of the modified CBSPp. This proposal is in response to RFA-MH-18-706, Pilot Effectiveness Trials for Treatment, Preventative and Services Interventions, and follows NIMH’s strategic plan to develop ways to tailor existing and new interventions to optimize outcomes (3.2) and test interventions for effectiveness in community practice (3.3).

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