Indian Journal of PsychiatryIndian Journal of Psychiatry
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Year : 2008  |  Volume : 50  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 187-191

Intentional self-harm seen in psychiatric referrals in a tertiary care hospital

Department of Psychiatry, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh - 160 012, India

Correspondence Address:
Sandeep Grover
Department of Psychiatry, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh - 160 012
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0019-5545.43633

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Background: Intentional self-harm is common, through out the world; however, there is scanty data from India. Aims: To study the sociodemographic and clinical profile of subjects with "intentional self-harm" referred to consultation-liaison psychiatric services for evaluation in a tertiary care hospital. Design: Retrospective chart review. Materials and Methods: For this study, the consultation-liaison register of Department of Psychiatry was screened to obtain data of all patients who were referred to psychiatry referral services and were diagnosed as "intentional self-harm" while they were admitted in Nehru Hospital, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), Chandigarh during the period of 2000-2005. The case notes of these patients were reviewed for obtaining the sociodemographic profile and clinical profile for the current study. Results: Majority of the subjects were married (61%), educated beyond matriculation (75%), were employed or retired (53.6%), belonged to Hindu (87%), nuclear family (64.5%) of middle socioeconomic status (85%) and came from urban background (53%). Most common reasons/precipitating events prior to intentional self-harm were interpersonal problems with family members (39.2%), followed by interpersonal problems with spouse (16.9%). The most common method of intentional self-harm used was consumption of insecticides (44.6%), followed by use of corrosives (17.5%). Half of the sample (48.2%) did not fulfill criteria for any axis-1 or axis-2 psychiatric diagnosis at the time of assessment and most common psychiatric diagnosis was depression (30.7 %). Conclusions: Nearly half of the subjects who present to a tertiary care hospital with intentional self-harm do not have diagnosable psychiatric illness.



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