Year: 2022 Source: Journal of Child Health Care. (2022). 26(2), 290–306. DOI: 10.1177/13674935211014405 SIEC No: 20220510

Self-harming behaviours in children and young people are an alarming reality, with provision of effective treatment historically compromised. The present systematic literature review highlights attitudes displayed by healthcare professionals towards this health problem, providing valuable insight by analysing how these attitudes can impact patient care. Ten studies were included, allowing creation of a narrative synthesis of qualitative, quantitative and mixed-methods evidence. Six themes emerged: negativity, positivity, worry or fear, the emotional impact of working with these patients, professional roles and ward-dependent concerns. Overall, professional negativity towards this patient group, in the form of apprehensiveness, was accentuated by fear of worsening their symptoms. The attitude aforementioned impacts on treatment by hindering creation of meaningful therapeutic relationships. Educational opportunities that increase healthcare professionals’ knowledge of self-harm have the potential to provide invaluable power by promoting positive attitudes.