Journal article

Hospital presentations for self-poisoning during COVID-19 in Sri Lanka: an interrupted time-series analysis

Duleeka Knipe, Tharuka Silva, Azra Aroos, Lalith Senarathna, Nirosha Madhuwanthi Hettiarachchi, Sampath R Galappaththi, Matthew J Spittal, David Gunnell, Chris Metcalfe, Thilini Rajapakse



BACKGROUND: There is widespread concern over the impact of public health measures, such as lockdowns, associated with COVID-19 on mental health, including suicide. High-quality evidence from low-income and middle-income countries, where the burden of suicide and self-harm is greatest, is scarce. We aimed to determine the effect of the pandemic on hospital presentations for self-poisoning. METHODS: In this interrupted time-series analysis, we established a new self-poisoning register at the tertiary care Teaching Hospital Peradeniya in Sri Lanka, a lower-middle-income country. Using a standard extraction sheet, data were gathered for all patients admitted to the Toxicology Unit with self-pois..

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Awarded by Wellcome Trust

Awarded by Australian Research Council Future Fellowship - Australian Government

Funding Acknowledgements

This work was supported by the Centre for Pesticide Suicide Prevention and the Global Public Health strand of the Elizabeth Blackwell Institute for Health Research, which is funded by the Wellcome Trust and University of Bristol's Quality Related Global Challenged Research Fund strategy. The Centre for Pesticide Suicide Prevention is funded by an Incubator Grant from the Open Philanthropy Project Fund, an advised fund of the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, on the recommendation of GiveWell (San Francisco, CA, USA) . DK was supported by the Wellcome Trust through an Institutional Strategic Support Fund Award to the University of Bristol (204813) and the Elizabeth Blackwell Institute for Health Research University of Bristol. DG is supported by the NIHR Biomedical Research Centre at University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS Foundation Trust and the University of Bristol. MJS is a recipient of an Australian Research Council Future Fellowship (project number FT180100075) funded by the Australian Government. The authors acknowledge the support of the South Asian Clinical Toxicology Research Collaboration (SACTRC) and the SACTRC research team for the study. In particular, we thank W U Jayarathna (SACTRC) for her support in responding to reviewers, and J F Mirza (senior registrar in the Department of Psychiatry at Teaching Hospital Peradeniya) for the Tamil translation of the abstract. We also thank the staff of the Toxicology Unit, Teaching Hospital Peradeniya, Sri Lanka, for facilitating data collection.