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Home > An exploratory service-based study of deliberate self-harm (DSH) in Ireland: ‘A hidden population’?

Quinn, P and Surgenor, P and McGilloway, Sinead (2017) An exploratory service-based study of deliberate self-harm (DSH) in Ireland: ‘A hidden population’? Irish Medical Journal , 110 , (5) .

URL: http://imj.ie/an-exploratory-service-based-study-o...


The aim of this study was to investigate the nature and extent of deliberate self-harm (DSH) amongst those attending national crisis centres in Ireland, and to assess clients’ views of the service. A secondary analysis was undertaken of a large data set of clients presenting with DSH (n=823). Clients were predominantly female, under 25 and with self-cutting widely reported (73%). DSH co-occurred with suicidal ideation (SI) (42%) and/or a suicide attempt (SA) (35%). Males were significantly more likely to present with more severe problems, and to use more dramatic methods of DSH; more severe presenting issues were also significantly associated with a history of having friends who engage in DSH. The treatment completion rate was 36%. Clients reported overwhelmingly positive views about the service. This is the first study in Ireland to provide insights into a ‘hidden population’ of people who engage in DSH. A need for greater awareness of DSH and its links to suicidal ideation/behaviour is indicated.

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