Safety Planning Intervention to Reduce Short Term Risk

2017-07-25 12:38:21 | BioPortfolio


This study will determine the efficacy of Safety Planning Intervention (SPI) compared to receiving risk factors and warning sign information (RWI) in recent suicide attempters during the 6 months following an acute care visit on: (1) suicidal behaviors; (2) mental health/substance use treatment engagement; (3) suicide-related coping strategies; (4) suicidal ideation; and (5) use of means restriction.


There is a pressing need for improved acute care setting suicide prevention interventions. The Safety Planning Intervention (SPI) is a protocol driven, brief suicide prevention strategy that is a good fit for acute care settings (i.e., emergency departments (ED) and inpatient units). The SPI involves a clinician working collaboratively with the patient to build a personalized safety plan that is documented using a templated paper form and includes warning sign identification, means restriction and personalized strategies to deescalate a suicide crisis. It is easy to learn and administer, acceptable to patients, brief, firmly rooted in an empirical base and has preliminary studies supporting its feasibility and potential to impact patient outcomes, including suicidal behavior and treatment engagement. However, while it is being adopted widely, it lacks a randomized controlled trial (RCT) to definitively determine its efficacy. The purpose of this study to conduct a randomized control trial of the Safety Planning Intervention (SPI) compared with receiving risk factors and warning sign information (RWI) in acute care settings.

All participants in this study will complete some baseline assessments, following which they will be randomly assigned to one of two study conditions: Safety Plan Intervention (SPI) or receiving risk factors and warning sign information (RWI). If assigned to SPI, participants will receive the assigned intervention by the research clinician. They will receive a paper copy of their safety plan while in the ED or on the inpatient unit and a back-up copy will be sent approximately 1 week after discharge to participants. For RWI participants, ED and inpatient unit care will be delivered as usual, with the addition of a printed information sheet listing suicide risk factors and crisis hotlines. In addition to the baseline assessment, multi-method outcome assessment will be conducted at 1, 3, and 6 months. This will include telephone evaluations by a blinded assessor (not the research clinician), medical record review, and vital statistics registry review.

Study Design


Suicide, Attempted


Safety Planning Intervention, Risk factors and Warning signs


University of Massachusetts
United States


Not yet recruiting


New York State Psychiatric Institute

Results (where available)

View Results


Published on BioPortfolio: 2017-07-25T12:38:21-0400

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