Year: 2001 Source: BMJ, v.322, no.7280, (January 27, 2001), p.213-215 SIEC No: 20010273

In a two-year Swedish study of 812 consecutive patients who had deliberately harmed themselves, 11% (89 patients) repeated the non-fatal act & 2% (16) completed suicide during the study period. It is usually estimated that up to 10% will complete suicide within 10 years. An act of deliberate self-harm is therefore an ominous sign for repeated acts. This article states patients who deliberately self-harm should be assessed as comprehensively as possible, including the risk for suicide. It is suggested a psychiatrist should be involved in the evaluation, treatement should be individualized on the basis of the assessment, & patients who accept offers for help should be followed up quickly. 6 guidelines are presented. (23 refs.)