To evaluate a suicide prevention training workshop for staff working in the field of traumatic brain injury (TBI) and to develop new measures for evaluation of similar training in the future.
A prospective controlled pre- and posttest evaluation with a 6-month follow-up.
Multidisciplinary TBI rehabilitation and disability staff from the state of Victoria attending the workshop (n = 50) and an equivalent control group (n = 28) recruited from New South Wales.
A statewide training workshop was held at a major rehabilitation center in Melbourne.
Three designed measures including an objective knowledge test, a self-assessment inventory of knowledge/skills and an attitudinal inventory.
Participants recorded statistically significant increases in their scores comparing the pre- to postworkshop evaluations. Many of these gains were maintained at the 6-month follow-up evaluation. In contrast, the control group had scores equivalent to those of workshop participants on the pretest evaluations but recorded no similar increase at follow-up. Factor analysis found that the knowledge and skills self-assessment inventory had 2 factors, each having good internal reliability.
The current workshop has proved effective in increasing staff knowledge and skills in the assessment and management of people with TBI exhibiting suicidal behaviors. Finally, the initial development of a knowledge and skills self-assessment measure shows promise, providing a resource for the ongoing evaluation of suicide prevention training in the TBI field.