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Title: The Prevalence of previous self-harm amongst self-poisoning patients in Sri Lanka
Authors: Mohamed, F.
Perera, A.
Wijayaweera, K.
Kularatne, K.
Jayamanne, S.
Eddleston, M.
Dawson, A.
Konradsen, F.
Gunnell, D.
Issue Date: 2011
Publisher: Springer International
Citation: Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology; 46(6): pp.517-20
Abstract: BACKGROUND: One of the most important components of suicide prevention strategies is to target people who repeat self-harm as they are a high risk group. However, there is some evidence that the incidence of repeat self-harm is lower in Asia than in the West. The objective of this study was to investigate the prevalence of previous self-harm among a consecutive series of self-harm patients presenting to hospitals in rural Sri Lanka. METHOD: Six hundred and ninety-eight self-poisoning patients presenting to medical wards at two hospitals in Sri Lanka were interviewed about their previous episodes of self-harm. RESULTS: Sixty-one (8.7%, 95% CI 6.7-11%) patients reported at least one previous episode of self-harm [37 (10.7%) male, 24 (6.8%) female]; only 19 (2.7%, 95% CI 1.6-4.2%) patients had made more than one previous attempt. CONCLUSION: The low prevalence of previous self-harm is consistent with previous Asian research and is considerably lower than that seen in the West. Explanations for these low levels of repeat self-harm require investigation. Our data indicate that a focus on the aftercare of those who attempt suicide in Sri Lanka may have a smaller impact on suicide incidence than may be possible in the West.
ISSN: 0933-7954 (Print)
1433-9285 (Electronic)
Appears in Collections:Journal/Magazine Articles

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