Send to

Choose Destination
JMIR Public Health Surveill. 2016 Nov 9;2(2):e164.

Efficacy of Web-Based Collection of Strength-Based Testimonials for Text Message Extension of Youth Suicide Prevention Program: Randomized Controlled Experiment.

Author information

Department of Computer Science, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY, United States.
Department of Psychiatry, University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, Rochester, NY, United States.
Department of Pediatrics, University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, Rochester, NY, United States.
Northrop Grumman, Huntsville, AL, United States.
Department of Biostatistics and Computational Biology, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY, United States.



Equipping members of a target population to deliver effective public health messaging to peers is an established approach in health promotion. The Sources of Strength program has demonstrated the promise of this approach for "upstream" youth suicide prevention. Text messaging is a well-established medium for promoting behavior change and is the dominant communication medium for youth. In order for peer 'opinion leader' programs like Sources of Strength to use scalable, wide-reaching media such as text messaging to spread peer-to-peer messages, they need techniques for assisting peer opinion leaders in creating effective testimonials to engage peers and match program goals. We developed a Web interface, called Stories of Personal Resilience in Managing Emotions (StoryPRIME), which helps peer opinion leaders write effective, short-form messages that can be delivered to the target population in youth suicide prevention program like Sources of Strength.


To determine the efficacy of StoryPRIME, a Web-based interface for remotely eliciting high school peer leaders, and helping them produce high-quality, personal testimonials for use in a text messaging extension of an evidence-based, peer-led suicide prevention program.


In a double-blind randomized controlled experiment, 36 high school students wrote testimonials with or without eliciting from the StoryPRIME interface. The interface was created in the context of Sources of Strength-an evidence-based youth suicide prevention program-and 24 ninth graders rated these testimonials on relatability, usefulness/relevance, intrigue, and likability.


Testimonials written with the StoryPRIME interface were rated as more relatable, useful/relevant, intriguing, and likable than testimonials written without StoryPRIME, P=.054.


StoryPRIME is a promising way to elicit high-quality, personal testimonials from youth for prevention programs that draw on members of a target population to spread public health messages.


adolescent health; mental health; suicide; text messaging; user interface design

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for JMIR Publications Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center