Journal article

Intoxication with alcohol at the time of self-harm and pre-existing involvement with mental health services are associated with a pre-disposition to repetition of self-harming behavior in a large cohort of older New Zealanders presenting with an index episode of self-harm

David Ames

International Psychogeriatrics | CAMBRIDGE UNIV PRESS | Published : 2017


The paper on predictors of repeat self-harm and suicide by Cheung et al. (2017), which has been chosen by the editorial team as paper of the month for this issue of International Psychogeriatrics, makes a very useful contribution to the study of self-harm and suicide in late life. Of 339 individuals presenting with an index episode of self-harm to one of seven Emergency Departments (EDs) in New Zealand, close to 15% harmed themselves again within one year and for nearly one in six of these 50 people, the repeat episode was fatal. Having alcohol in the blood and already being engaged with mental health services at the time of the index episode both had some utility in predicting the occurrenc..

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University of Melbourne Researchers