Suicidal Ideation Active | Military Continuity Project

Suicidal Ideation Active research study

What is the primary objective of this study?

The investigators propose to utilize text messaging to create and investigate the efficacy of a Continuing Contacts via Text (CCVT) intervention that extends the continuity of care for Service Members with a recent suicide attempt and/or reported suicidal ideation by sending them non-demanding caring text messages at regular intervals over a 12-month period. Participants will be randomly assigned to receive Continuing Contacts via Text (CCVT) in addition to Treatment as Usual (TAU) or TAU alone. Aim 1: To determine if the addition of 12 months of CCVT to TAU (CCVT+TAU) results in lower rates of suicidal ideation and behavior relative to TAU alone. - Hypothesis 1a: Participants assigned to CCVT+TAU compared to TAU alone will experience reduced suicidal ideation at 12-month follow-up. - Hypothesis 1b: Over the 12 months following study enrollment, a smaller proportion of participants assigned to CCVT+TAU vs. TAU alone will have suicide risk incidents (i.e., those requiring medical evacuation or hospital admission). - Hypothesis 1c: Over the 12 months following study enrollment, CCVT+TAU vs. TAU alone will have fewer total number of suicide risk incidents requiring medical evacuation or hospital admission. Aim 2: To test two proposed mechanisms of action of CCVT outcome: 1) reduced \"thwarted belongingness\" and 2) increased engagement in behavioral health services. - Hypothesis 2a: The effect of CCVT+TAU compared to TAU alone will be mediated by reductions in \"thwarted belongingness\" from pre to post-study. - Hypothesis 2b: The effect of CCVT+TAU compared to TAU alone will be mediated by increased use of outpatient behavioral health services in the CCVT+TAU condition.

Who is eligible to participate?

INCLUSION CRITERIA: - Active duty, Reserve, National Guard - 18 or more years of age - Identification to a behavioral health, counseling, or medical service (inpatient, outpatient, or emergency) with suicidal ideation or a suicide attempt - Has current suicidal ideation as defined by the Scale for Suicidal Ideation-Current (SSI-C) - Has mobile phone or pager where he or she can receive 11 text messages in a year free of cost or at a fee he or she does not consider burdensome EXCLUSION CRITERIA: - Does not speak and read English well enough to consent and to understand texts in English - Too cognitively impaired at best mental status during treatment to consent to participate (i.e., brain damage, psychosis, dementia, or other cause) - Treating clinician evaluates the intervention as contra-indicated (e.g., paranoia exacerbated by being contacted) - Prisoner or otherwise under judicial order where study participation could not be considered to be truly voluntary

Which medical condition, disease, disorder, syndrome, illness, or injury is researched?

Suicidal Ideation Active

Suicidal and Self-injurious Behavior

Study Interventions

Interventions can include giving participants drugs, medical devices, procedures, vaccines, and other products that are either investigational or already available or noninvasive approaches such as surveys, education, and interviews.

Behavioral:TAUThis is standard outpatient mental health care that is routinely provided in study site outpatient clinics.


Study Arms

Research studies and clinical trials typically have two or more research arms. An arm is a group of people who receive the same treatment in the study.

Treatment as Usual (TAU)The Treatment as Usual (TAU) control group will reflect current clinical practices for treating suicidal Soldiers and Marines.

Continuing Contacts via Text (CCVT)+TAUThe intervention group will receive Continuing Contacts via Text (CCVT) in addition to Treatment as Usual (TAU).

Study Status


Start Date: April 2013

Completed Date: April 2018

Phase: N/A

Type: Interventional


Primary Outcome: Scale for Suicide Ideation - Current (SSI-C)

Secondary Outcome: Suicide Attempt Self-Injury Count (SASI-Count)

Study sponsors, principal investigator, and references

Principal Investigator: Katherine Anne Comtois, PhD, MPH

Lead Sponsor: University of Washington

Collaborator: Military Suicide Research Consortium

More information:

Motto JA, Bostrom AG. A randomized controlled trial of postcrisis suicide prevention. Psychiatr Serv. 2001 Jun;52(6):828-33.

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