Display Settings:


Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Br J Psychiatry. 2010 Jul;197(1):55-60. doi: 10.1192/bjp.bp.109.075754.

Postcard intervention for repeat self-harm: randomised controlled trial.

Author information

  • 1Yale University School of Medicine, Department of Emergency Medicine, 464 Congress Avenue, Suite 260, New Haven, CT 06519, USA. Annette.Beautrais@yale.edu



Self-harm and suicidal behaviour are common reasons for emergency department presentation. Those who present with self-harm have an elevated risk of further suicidal behaviour and death.


To examine whether a postcard intervention reduces self-harm re-presentations in individuals presenting to the emergency department.


Randomised controlled trial conducted in Christchurch, New Zealand. The intervention consisted of six postcards mailed during the 12 months following an index emergency department attendance for self-harm. Outcome measures were the proportion of participants re-presenting with self-harm and the number of re-presentations for self-harm in the 12 months following the initial presentation.


After adjustment for prior self-harm, there were no significant differences between the control and intervention groups in the proportion of participants re-presenting with self-harm or in the total number of re-presentations for self-harm.


The postcard intervention did not reduce further self-harm. Together with previous results this finding suggests that the postcard intervention may be effective only for selected subgroups.

Comment in

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk