Table 58Summary study characteristics of trials comparing other medications versus placebo

Other medications versus placebo
Total number of trials (N)1 RCT (N = 167)1 RCT (N = 49)
DiagnosisDSM-IV 76% had diagnosis of MDD, 19% adjustment disorder, 5% other. Comorbidity: 8% substance-use disorder, 7% anxiety disorder, 34% personality disorder41% had diagnosis of alcohol misuse and 82% personality disorder
Recruitment settingPatients presenting to the emergency department following a suicide attempt at one of five study centresPatients presenting to hospital after deliberate self-harm
Treatment length3 to 4 weeks12 weeks
Previous self-harm44% were repeatersAll are recurrent repeaters
InterventionLithium 200 mg per weekOmega-3 fatty acid supplement (EPAX 5500 capsules) plus usual psychiatric care
ComparisonPlaceboPlacebo plus usual psychiatric care


Cover of Self-Harm: Longer-Term Management
Self-Harm: Longer-Term Management.
NICE Clinical Guidelines, No. 133.
National Collaborating Centre for Mental Health (UK).
Leicester (UK): British Psychological Society; 2012.
Copyright © 2012, The British Psychological Society & The Royal College of Psychiatrists.

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