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Development and pilot evaluation of an online psychoeducational program for suicide prevention among university students: A randomised controlled trial

Han, Jin; Batterham, Philip; Calear, Alison L.; Wu, Yang; Xue, Jing; van Spijker, Bregje

Description

Introduction Suicide is the second leading cause of death for the university aged population globally. A significant proportion of students with suicidal ideation or behaviours do not seek professional help. Few primary suicide prevention programs have specifically targeted help seeking for suicidal ideation or behaviours among university students. Methods This study reported the development and pilot test of a brief, two-module online psychoeducational program (ProHelp) that aimed to...[Show more]

dc.contributor.authorHan, Jin
dc.contributor.authorBatterham, Philip
dc.contributor.authorCalear, Alison L.
dc.contributor.authorWu, Yang
dc.contributor.authorXue, Jing
dc.contributor.authorvan Spijker, Bregje
dc.date.accessioned2018-01-22T04:34:27Z
dc.date.available2018-01-22T04:34:27Z
dc.identifier.issn2214-7829
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/1885/139542
dc.description.abstractIntroduction Suicide is the second leading cause of death for the university aged population globally. A significant proportion of students with suicidal ideation or behaviours do not seek professional help. Few primary suicide prevention programs have specifically targeted help seeking for suicidal ideation or behaviours among university students. Methods This study reported the development and pilot test of a brief, two-module online psychoeducational program (ProHelp) that aimed to encourage help seeking for suicidal ideation and behaviours among university students. The program consists of two five-minute modules that address the risk factors and warning signs of suicide, stigmatising attitudes, and perceived barriers to help seeking. 156 Chinese university students and 101 Australian university students were recruited to evaluate the effectiveness of this program at post-test and one-month follow-up. Participants were randomly assigned to the psychoeducational program or an attention control program. Results Of the Chinese and Australian students who were randomised into the study, around 50% completed the two­day post­test survey, and 30% completed the one-month follow­up survey. Although no significant difference was found between the control and experimental group on professional help-seeking beliefs and intentions, both groups' help-seeking attitudes increased during the study (p = 0.003 for the post­test survey, and p = 0.008 for the follow­up survey). The experimental group in both countries demonstrated a significant improvement in suicide literacy at the post-test survey (p = 0.015) compared to control. Qualitative feedback indicated that the ProHelp program was user-friendly, clear, and helpful. Conclusions This study provides initial evidence that a brief online psychoeducational program could enhance university students' suicide literacy in both China and Australia. It also suggests that increasing suicide literacy might not be sufficient to improve students' help seeking, although effect sizes indicated that this low­intensity online approach shows promise in encouraging more positive beliefs towards help seeking and preparedness to help individuals with suicidal ideation among young people.
dc.format.mimetypeapplication/pdf
dc.publisherElsevier
dc.rights© 2017 Published by Elsevier B.V. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/BY-NC-ND/4.0/)
dc.rights.urihttp://creativecommons.org/licenses/BY-NC-ND/4.0/
dc.sourceInternet Interventions
dc.subjectSuicide prevention
dc.subjectPsychoeducational program
dc.subjectUniversity students
dc.subjectHelp seeking
dc.titleDevelopment and pilot evaluation of an online psychoeducational program for suicide prevention among university students: A randomised controlled trial
dc.typeJournal article
dc.date.issued2017
local.publisher.urlhttps://www.elsevier.com/
local.type.statusPublished Version
local.contributor.affiliationHan, J., Centre for Mental Health Research, Research School of Population Health, The Australian National University
local.contributor.affiliationBatterham, P. J., Centre for Mental Health Research, Research School of Population Health, The Australian National University
local.contributor.affiliationCalear, A. L., Centre for Mental Health Research, Research School of Population Health, The Australian National University
local.contributor.affiliationvan Spijker, B. A. J., Centre for Mental Health Research, Research School of Population Health, The Australian National University
local.identifier.doi10.1016/j.invent.2017.11.002
dcterms.accessRightsOpen Access
CollectionsANU Research Publications

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