Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Self-harm after hospital

The risk of suicide in the month after psychiatric inpatient care is about 100 times greater than that of the general population. Although the high risk of suicide shortly after discharge is well documented less is known about the rates of non-fatal self-harm. A study of 75,401 people discharged from psychiatric inpatient care between April 2004 and March 2005 found that 6.5% of them were admitted at least once for self-harm in the following 12 months. The risk of self-harm was greatest in the four weeks after discharge. The strongest risk factor for self-harm after discharge was an admission for self-harm in the previous 12 months. The risk of self-harm was also higher in women, younger people, those with diagnoses of depression, personality disorder and substance abuse and those with short lengths of stay.

Gunnell, David ... [et al] - Hospital admissions for self-harm after discharge from psychiatric inpatient care: cohort study British Medical Journal December 6, 2008, 1331-1334

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