Year: 1987 Source: British Journal of Psychiatry, v.150, (May 1987), p.704-706 SIEC No: 19871628

Three patients attempted suicide by burning in one ward of a psychiatric hospital in a period of less than one month. No such attempts had occurred there in the previous 9 years. The patients were schizophrenics with depressive features who occupied the same room in the ward. It is suggested that the choice & timing of these attempts were influenced by imitation. Hospital staff are urged to especially be aware of the influence of imitation in order to avert epidemics of this kind.