Title

Deliberate Self-Harm In Adolescents In Southern Sri Lanka: A Hospital Based Study

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

12-31-2018

Published In

Galle Medical Journal

Abstract

Introduction: Little is known about adolescents who engage in deliberate self-harm (DSH). Therefore, using data from medical and police records of the Teaching Hospital Karapitiya, we examined patterns of DSH among young people. Methods: We examined records of episodes of DSH for 2001 and for the 5 year period from 2006 through 2010. Data on 1720 individuals between 10 and 18 years old were gathered. Results: There was a striking increase from 2001 to 2010 in admissions of young people with DSH. In 2001, there were 137 cases; in 2010, the number had nearly tripled (N=391). Case fatality rates were low; in 2001, it was 8%; in 2010, it was 0.25%. Comparing 2001 to 2010, cases involving poisons decreased from 58% to 46%; cases involving medicinal overdoses increased from 41% to 54%. Adolescents rarely used other methods. In 2001 and in each year from 2006 to 2010, adolescents aged 15-18 years accounted for at least 85% of the sample, and there were three times more girls than boys. Conclusion: Decreases in suicides have been substantial; nonetheless, rates of non-fatal DSH have climbed. We call for research on antecedents and correlates of DSH in groups at high risk, such as older adolescent girls.

Keywords

Adolescents, Case fatality rate, Deliberate self-harm, Gender differences, Paracetamol

Share

COinS