Scientific article
Open access

Patients with first versus multiple episodes of self-harm: how do their profiles differ?

Published inAnnals of general psychiatry, vol. 20, no. 1, 30
Publication date2021-05-13
First online date2021-05-13

Background: Self-harm (SH) is among the strongest predictors of further episodes of SH, suicide attempt, and death by suicide. People who repeteadly harm themselves are at even higher risk for suicide. Factors influencing the repetition are important to identify when assessing suicidal risk and thereafter to offer specific interventions. Therefore, this study aimed to compare first versus multiple episodes characteristics in a large sample of patients in french-speaking Switzerland.

Method: We used the database from the French-speaking Swiss program for monitoring SH. Data of the psychiatric assessment of all adults admitted for SH were collected in the emergency department of four Swiss city hospitals between December 2016 and October 2019.

Results: 1730 episodes of SH were included. Several variables were significantly associated with multiple episodes, including diagnosis (over representation of personality disorders and under representation of anxiety disorders), professional activity (Invalidity insurance more frequent) and prior psychiatry care.

Conclusions: Patients suffering from a personality disorder and those with invalidity insurance are at risk for multiple episodes of SH and should be targeted with specific interventions.

  • Multiple episodes
  • Repeaters
  • Risk factors
  • Self-harm
  • Suicide
Citation (ISO format)
GOLAY, Philippe et al. Patients with first versus multiple episodes of self-harm: how do their profiles differ? In: Annals of general psychiatry, 2021, vol. 20, n° 1, p. 30. doi: 10.1186/s12991-021-00351-5
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Article (Published version)
ISSN of the journal1744-859X

Technical informations

Creation06/01/2022 10:21:16 AM
First validation05/12/2023 7:17:37 AM
Update time05/12/2023 7:17:37 AM
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