The Impact of Participating in Suicide Research Online

Suzanne Gibson, Zoe Boden, Outi Benson, Sarah L. Brand

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The impact of participation in online mixed-methods suicide research was investigated. Participants, who described feeling suicidal, completed an 18- item questionnaire before and after taking part (n = 103), and answered open- ended questions about participation (n = 97). Overall, participation reduced negative experiences and had no effect on positive experiences. Feelings of calm increased, but participants felt less supported. Some participants did experience distress, but some also reported this distress to be manageable. Anonymously sharing experiences of suicidality was viewed as important, had therapeutic benefits, and engendered hopes for recovery. The findings suggest a need to ensure vulnerable participants in online studies are well supported while protecting their anonymity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)372-383
JournalSuicide and Life-threatening behavior
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • suicide and suicide prevention
  • online research
  • anonymity
  • research ethics
  • Qualitative Research
  • Questionnaires


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