Dr. Michelle Torok and her colleagues recently published an article in the Lancet Digital Health Journal titled Suicide Prevention using Self-guided Digital Interventions: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials.
The researchers looked at the effect of digital suicide intervention strategies across 16 studies, including data for 4,398 participants and found:
- There was a small yet significant effect of digital suicide prevention strategies on suicidal ideation. The study broke down individual effects from direct digital interventions (that is, targeting suicidal thoughts and behaviors) and indirect ones (targeting general depression or other related symptoms and not suicide directly). The direct intervention strategies had a higher effect on lowering suicidal ideation. The indirect interventions had a positive effect, but it was not statistically significant.
The results of the study highlight the importance of using digital health technologies to reduce suicidal ideation and suicidality in consumers with thoughts and/or plans of suicide and that there should be direct targeting of suicidality for maximum benefit to the consumer.