Non-psychiatric inpatient care preceding admission for self-harm in young people
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Many young people contact health services before they harm themselves intentionally. However, they often seek care for non-suicidal or non-psychiatric causes despite having suicidal thoughts. We investigated the non-psychiatric hospital diagnoses received by young people during the year before their first admission to hospital for self-harm.
From a national register, we selected people who were hospitalised for an episode of self-harm during the period 1999-2009, at which time they were aged 16 to 24. We compared them with matched controls regarding the probability for being admitted with different diagnoses during the year preceding the self-harm admission.
The study included 48,705 young people (16,235 cases and 32,470 controls). Those admitted for self-harm were more likely than controls to have been hospitalised for non-psychiatric reasons, which included symptomatic diagnoses such as abdominal pain, syncope/collapse, unspecified convulsions, and chest pain. Certain chronic somatic illnesses were also overrepresented, such as epilepsy, diabetes mellitus type 1, and asthma.
Symptomatic diagnoses were more common in those who had been admitted for self-harm. It is possible that psychiatric problems could have been the cause of the symptoms in some of these admissions where no underlying illness could be found, and if this was not uncovered it might lead to a delay in suicide risk assessment. For several chronic illnesses, when admitted to hospital, a psychiatric evaluation might be indicated.
Case-control, Register study, Self-harm, Somatic disorders, Suicide attempt, Young people
Research subject Psychiatry
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-120695OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-120695DiVA: diva2:929433