Impact of a Brief Suicide Prevention Training with an Interactive Video Case Assessment on Student Pharmacist Outcomes

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To determine whether a brief suicide prevention training with an interactive video case (Pharm-SAVES) improves student pharmacists’ suicide prevention knowledge and self-efficacy.


Student pharmacists (N = 146) from 2 United States universities completed the 75-minute Pharm-SAVES training in September 2021. Suicide prevention knowledge and self-efficacy were measured via an online pre-test and post-test, and a post-test interactive video case assessed self-efficacy to engage in SAVES steps (recognize Signs, Ask about suicide, Validate feelings, Expedite a National Suicide Prevention Lifeline [NSPL] referral, and Set a follow-up reminder). Paired samples t tests compared pre-test and post-test scores (alpha = 0.05). Three months later, students indicated if they had used Pharm-SAVES in practice.


Mean knowledge and self-efficacy significantly improved from pre-test to post-test. The interactive video case assessment revealed that students were least confident asking about suicide, moderately confident referring to or calling the NSPL on behalf of patients, and most confident following up with patients. Three months later, 17 (11.6%) students reported that they had recognized someone with suicide warning signs (S in SAVES). Among them, 9 (52.9%) reported asking the person with warning signs if they were considering suicide (A in SAVES), 13 (76.5%) validated feelings (V in SAVES), 3 (9.4%) called the NSPL for the patient, and 6 (35.3%) referred to the NSPL (E in SAVES).


Pharm-SAVES increased student pharmacists’ suicide prevention knowledge and self-efficacy. Within 3 months, more than 10% had used Pharm-SAVES skills with at-risk individuals. All Pharm-SAVES content is now online and available for asynchronous or synchronous instruction.


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