Objectives: This study aimed to investigate the clinical characteristics of adolescents hospitalized through the emergency room for intentional self-harm or suicide attempts.
Methods: This retrospective study used data from the Korean National Hospital Discharge In-depth Injury Survey conducted between 2006 and 2018 for individuals aged 10-24 years. The clinical characteristics of the patients were analyzed and compared across sex and age groups using the Rao-Scott chi-square tests and multiple logistic regression analysis for complex survey data.
Results: The most common psychiatric diagnosis was mood disorder (22.0%), and more female patients were diagnosed with it than male patients (p=0.010). The 19-24 years age group was diagnosed with mood disorder the most compared to other younger groups (p=0.012). Male patients used lethal methods more than female patients (p=0.008), and the 19-24 years age group used more drug poisoning and cutting or piercing (p<0.001) for intentional self-harm or suicide attempts than younger groups.
Conclusion: Adolescents hospitalized for intentional self-harm or suicide attempts showed significant differences in clinical characteristics across sex and age groups. These findings suggest that measures for preventing self-harm or suicide attempts need to be differentiated according to the sex and age of adolescents.