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Telehealth Monitoring of Patients with Schizophrenia and Suicidal Ideation.

Kasckow J, Gao S, Hanusa B, Rotondi A, Chinman M, Zickmund S, Gurklis J, Fox L, Cornelius J, Richmond I, Haas GL. Telehealth Monitoring of Patients with Schizophrenia and Suicidal Ideation. Suicide & Life-Threatening Behavior. 2015 Oct 1; 45(5):600-611.

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A telehealth system was developed to monitor risk following hospitalization for suicidal ideation. We hypothesized that 3 months of telehealth monitoring will result in a greater reduction in suicidal ideation. Veterans with schizophrenia admitted with recent suicidal ideation and/or a suicidal attempt were recruited into a discharge program of VA Usual Care with daily Health Buddy© monitoring (HB) or Usual Care (UC) alone. Fifteen of 25 were randomized to HB and 10 received UC. Daily adherence in the use of the HB system during months 1-3 was, respectively, 86.9%, 86.3%, and 84.1%. There were significant improvements in Beck Scale for Suicide Ideation scores in HB participants. There were no changes in depressive symptoms. Telehealth monitoring for this population of patients appears to be feasible.

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