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Br J Psychiatry. 1976 Apr;128:361-8.

Deliberate self-harm: a follow-up study of 279 patients.


Two-hundred-and-seventy-nine patients (103 men, 176 women) were followed-up 1-2 years after an act of non-fatal deliberate self-harm. Of 155 patients offered a psychiatric out-patient appointment at the time, only 68 completed the treatment. A further act of deliberate self-harm was committed by 26 men and 41 women within twelve months. The factors most highly associated with repetition were previous psychiatric treatment, a previous act of deliberate self-harm, and a criminal record. These factors held good for a separate series of patients. Significantly more repeaters received prolonged psychiatric care after the initial episode of deliberate self-harm. The implications of these findings for the clinical management of such patients are discussed.

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