I-CARE: Feasibility, Acceptability, and Appropriateness of a Digital Health Intervention for Youth Experiencing Mental Health Boarding
Leyenaar JK, Arakelyan M, Acquilano SC, Gilbert TL, Craig JT, Lee CN, Kodak SG, Ignatova E, Mudge LA, House SA, Brady RE. I-CARE: Feasibility, Acceptability, and Appropriateness of a Digital Health Intervention for Youth Experiencing Mental Health Boarding. J Adolesc Health. 2023 Mar 2:S1054-139X(23)00062-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2023.01.015. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 36870901.
A modular digital intervention was developed to facilitate delivery of evidence-based psychosocial skills by non-mental health clinicians for youth with expressed suicidality. The paper describes pilot mixed method findings on the intervention’s effectiveness, feasibility, acceptability, and appropriateness. The intervention, I-CARE, consisted of seven modules grounded in cognitive behavior therapy and were delivered via a table computer with videos and practice activities. Licensed nursing assistants provided one-on-one supervision and facilitated the intervention. I-CARE was implemented in a pediatric hospital with 24 patients aged 12-17 years hospitalized due to suicidal ideation or attempt. Clinical outcomes were assessed by self-reported surveys at hospital admission and 24 hours before hospital discharge. Emotional distress significantly decreased after participation (6.3 points on 63-point scale). There were no significant changes in engagement readiness and illness severity. Majority of youth, caregivers and clinicians rated I-CARE as feasible (98%, N=39), acceptable (90%, N=36), and appropriate (78%, N=31). Overall, I-CARE was feasible to implement and acceptable to end-users and demonstrated preliminary positive impact on emotional distress for suicidal young people in psychiatric hospitalization.