The purpose of this study is a continuation of the Phase I feasibility study where the investigators fully met and exceeded project aims to design, build, and test the usability and acceptability of an avatar-based system, the Virtual-CAMS (V-CAMS, formerly called CAMS-RAS), for use by suicidal ED patients and medical personnel responsible for their care.
Phase II includes a formative phase, during which the investigators will continue conducting usability and acceptability tests of new features, and a summative phase to conduct a clinical trial. SBIR Phase II project aims include: (1) Complete development of V-CAMS, including readiness for electronic health record integration; (2) Cultivate and utilize the advisory board so that V-CAMS is positioned to meet the needs of diverse healthcare systems and successful conduct of the proposed research; (3) Conduct usability/acceptability tests of new features with target end-users (suicidal patients, including those in the ED, medical providers) and key stakeholders (i.e., administrators); and (4) Conduct a randomized controlled trial (RCT; N=90) of suicidal ED patients comparing V-CAMS (n=45) to Care-As-Usual (CAU; n=45). Participants will be assessed at baseline while in the ED, and again at 7, 30, and 90 days. The investigators predict that V-CAMS participants will report a significantly greater decrease in suicidal behaviors and ED/hospital admissions, as well as significantly greater increases in use of behavioral coping skills, self-efficacy in coping with distress, and perceived helpfulness of patients' ED experience.