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Self-harm in adolescent in-patients

  • Anthony E. Livesey (a1)
Abstract
Aims and Method

Self-harm among adolescent in-patients exercises all who work with them. the UK has an exceptionally high prevalence of this behaviour compared with the rest of Europe. However, in one in-patient adolescent unit, in-patient self-harm was significantly reduced. Details of our rationale and intervention are presented, together with a retrospective data analysis.

Results

Using a range of practical and psychological interventions, the alarmingly high level of self-harm was almost completely eliminated and this level has been maintained to the present.

Clinical Implications

Our results suggest that self-harm in in-patients can be managed and reduced without adverse effects on the patients. Our methods may be applicable to other settings, although some staff may initially feel uncomfortable with such policy.

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Copyright
This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
References
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Hawton, K. & James, A. (2005) Suicide and deliberate self-harm in young people. BMJ, 330, 891894.
Mental Health Foundation (2006) Truth Hurts – Report of the National Inquiry into Self-Harm among Young People. Mental Health Foundation.
National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (2004) Scope. Self-Harm: the Short-Term Physical and Psychological Management and Secondary Prevention of Self-Harm in Primary and Secondary Care. NICE (http://www.nice.org.uk/nicemedia/pdf/Self-HarmScopeFinalV3140502.pdf).
Pies, R.W. & Popi, A. P. (1995) Self-injurious behaviour: pathophysiology and implications for treatment. Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 56, 580588.
Samaritans & Centre for Social Research (2002) Youth and Self-Harm: Perspectives – Report. Samaritans & Centre for Social Research, Oxford University.
Taiminen, T. J., Kallio-Soukainen, K., Nokso-Koivisto, H., Kaljonen, A. & Helenius, H. (1998) Contagion of deliberate self-harm among adolescent inpatients. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 37, 211217.
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BJPsych Bulletin
  • ISSN: 0955-6036
  • EISSN: 1472-1473
  • URL: /core/journals/bjpsych-bulletin
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Self-harm in adolescent in-patients

  • Anthony E. Livesey (a1)
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