Smartphone Application Intervention for Suicidal Adolescents

This project is supported by the Simmons College Fund for Research.

Kimberly Obrien App Research

The goal of Professor Kimberly O'Brien's project is to test the acceptability and usability of a smartphone application (app) intervention for 20 adolescents recently psychiatrically hospitalized or evaluated in the Emergency Department (ED) for suicidal thoughts and/or attempts and their care givers. The research team has developed this smartphone app intervention for use at time of discharge from acute care settings that treat suicidal adolescents. They expect that the app will be an added benefit to the patient over and above standard care because he/she will be able to access personalized coping skills immediately in times of crisis when he/she may feel immobilized due to suicidal thoughts, and his/her caregiver will be able to use the app to help coach the adolescent in these skills.

The app has the potential to increase patient safety upon discharge by providing patients with an added resource to which they have continuous access. The formative work of the project will inform modifications to the clarity, structure, and content of the smartphone app intervention, which will be tested for initial efficacy in a future small-scale RCT.