• Saving and Empowering Young Lives in Europe (SEYLE): a randomized controlled trial

      Wasserman, Danuta; Carli, Vladimir; Wasserman, Camilla; Apter, Alan; Balazs, Judit; Bobes, Julio; Bracale, Renata; Brunner, Romuald; Bursztein-Lipsicas, Cendrine; Corcoran, Paul; et al. (2010-04-13)
      Abstract Background There have been only a few reports illustrating the moderate effectiveness of suicide-preventive interventions in reducing suicidal behavior, and, in most of those studies, the target populations were primarily adults, whereas few focused on adolescents. Essentially, there have been no randomized controlled studies comparing the efficacy, cost-effectiveness and cultural adaptability of suicide-prevention strategies in schools. There is also a lack of information on whether suicide-preventive interventions can, in addition to preventing suicide, reduce risk behaviors and promote healthier ones as well as improve young people's mental health. The aim of the SEYLE project, which is funded by the European Union under the Seventh Framework Health Program, is to address these issues by collecting baseline and follow-up data on health and well-being among European adolescents and compiling an epidemiological database; testing, in a randomized controlled trial, three different suicide-preventive interventions; evaluating the outcome of each intervention in comparison with a control group from a multidisciplinary perspective; as well as recommending culturally adjusted models for promoting mental health and preventing suicidal behaviors. Methods and design The study comprises 11,000 adolescents emitted from randomized schools in 11 European countries: Austria, Estonia, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Romania, Slovenia and Spain, with Sweden serving as the scientific coordinating center. Each country performs three active interventions and one minimal intervention as a control group. The active interventions include gatekeeper training (QPR), awareness training on mental health promotion for adolescents, and screening for at-risk adolescents by health professionals. Structured questionnaires are utilized at baseline, 3- and 12-month follow-ups in order to assess changes. Discussion Although it has been reported that suicide-preventive interventions can be effective in decreasing suicidal behavior, well-documented and randomized studies are lacking. The effects of such interventions in terms of combating unhealthy lifestyles in young people, which often characterize suicidal individuals, have never been reported. We know that unhealthy and risk-taking behaviors are detrimental to individuals' current and future health. It is, therefore, crucial to test well-designed, longitudinal mental health-promoting and suicide-preventive interventions by evaluating the implications of such activities for reducing unhealthy and risk behaviors while concurrently promoting healthy ones. Trial registration The German Clinical Trials Register, DRKS00000214.
    • The Saving and Empowering Young Lives in Europe (SEYLE) Randomized Controlled Trial (RCT): methodological issues and participant characteristics

      Carli, Vladimir; Wasserman, Camilla; Wasserman, Danuta; Sarchiapone, Marco; Apter, Alan; Balazs, Judit; Bobes, Julio; Brunner, Romuald; Corcoran, Paul; Cosman, Doina; et al. (2013-05-16)
      Abstract Background Mental health problems and risk behaviours among young people are of great public health concern. Consequently, within the VII Framework Programme, the European Commission funded the Saving and Empowering Young Lives in Europe (SEYLE) project. This Randomized Controlled Trial (RCT) was conducted in eleven European countries, with Sweden as the coordinating centre, and was designed to identify an effective way to promote mental health and reduce suicidality and risk taking behaviours among adolescents. Objective To describe the methodological and field procedures in the SEYLE RCT among adolescents, as well as to present the main characteristics of the recruited sample. Methods Analyses were conducted to determine: 1) representativeness of study sites compared to respective national data; 2) response rate of schools and pupils, drop-out rates from baseline to 3 and 12 month follow-up, 3) comparability of samples among the four Intervention Arms; 4) properties of the standard scales employed: Beck Depression Inventory, Second Edition (BDI-II), Zung Self-Rating Anxiety Scale (Z-SAS), Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ), World Health Organization Well-Being Scale (WHO-5). Results Participants at baseline comprised 12,395 adolescents (M/F: 5,529/6,799; mean age=14.9±0.9) from Austria, Estonia, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Romania, Slovenia and Spain. At the 3 and 12 months follow up, participation rates were 87.3% and 79.4%, respectively. Demographic characteristics of participating sites were found to be reasonably representative of their respective national population. Overall response rate of schools was 67.8%. All scales utilised in the study had good to very good internal reliability, as measured by Cronbach’s alpha (BDI-II: 0.864; Z-SAS: 0.805; SDQ: 0.740; WHO-5: 0.799). Conclusions SEYLE achieved its objective of recruiting a large representative sample of adolescents within participating European countries. Analysis of SEYLE data will shed light on the effectiveness of important interventions aimed at improving adolescent mental health and well-being, reducing risk-taking and self-destructive behaviour and preventing suicidality. Trial registration US National Institute of Health (NIH) clinical trial registry (NCT00906620) and the German Clinical Trials Register (DRKS00000214).