Effectiveness of a targeted brief intervention for recent suicide attempt survivors: a randomised controlled trial protocol

Anthony Pisani*, Kenneth Connor, Kimberly Van Orden, Neil Jordan, Sara Landes, Geoffrey Curran, Michael McDermott, Ashkan Ertefaie, Caroline Kelberman*, Seethalakshmi Ramanathan, Jay Carruthers, Kristina Mossgraber, David Goldston

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction Effective, brief, low-cost interventions for suicide attempt survivors are essential to saving lives and achieving the goals of the National Strategy for Suicide Prevention and Zero Suicide. This study aims to examine the effectiveness of the Attempted Suicide Short Intervention Program (ASSIP) in averting suicide reattempts in the United States healthcare system, its psychological mechanisms as predicted by the Interpersonal Theory of Suicide, and the potential implementation costs, barriers and facilitators for delivering it. Methods and analysis This study is a hybrid type 1 effectiveness-implementation randomised controlled trial (RCT). ASSIP is delivered at three outpatient mental healthcare clinics in New York State. Participant referral sites include three local hospitals with inpatient and comprehensive psychiatric emergency services, and outpatient mental health clinics. Participants include 400 adults who have had a recent suicide attempt. All are randomised to 'Zero Suicide-Usual Care plus ASSIP' or 'Zero Suicide-Usual Care'. Randomisation is stratified by sex and whether the index attempt is a first suicide attempt or not. Participants complete assessments at baseline, 6 weeks, and 3, 6, 12 and, 18 months. The primary outcome is the time from randomisation to the first suicide reattempt. Prior to the RCT, a 23-person open trial took place, in which 13 participants received 'Zero Suicide-Usual Care plus ASSIP' and 14 completed the first follow-up time point. Ethics and dissemination This study is overseen by the University of Rochester, with single Institutional Review Board (#3353) reliance agreements from Nathan Kline Institute (#1561697) and SUNY Upstate Medical University (#1647538). It has an established Data and Safety Monitoring Board. Results will be published in peer-reviewed academic journals, presented at scientific conferences, and communicated to referral organisations. Clinics considering ASSIP may use a stakeholder report generated by this study, including incremental cost-effectiveness data from the provider point of view. Trial registration number NCT03894462.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere070105
JournalBMJ open
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 3 2023


  • Adult psychiatry
  • Suicide & self-harm

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Effectiveness of a targeted brief intervention for recent suicide attempt survivors: a randomised controlled trial protocol'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this