Self-harm within inpatient psychiatric services: most episodes are among women, involve breaking the skin and take place in private
- Director, VA National Center for Patient Safety Field Office, White River Junction, Vermont, USA and Adjunct Associate Professor of Psychiatry, The Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth, Hanover, NH, USA
- Correspondence to
: Dr Peter D Mills
VA National Center for Patient Safety, VAMC (10A 4E), 215 North Main Street, White River Junction, VT 05055, USA;
Implications for practice and research
Focusing on the method, antecedents and level of openness of self-harm can inform clinicians and researchers about the possible motivators and goals of the behaviour and lead to a more clear understanding of possible interventions.
The majority of self-harm does not appear to represent an attempt to manipulate others or gain their attention; rather it is more often a private act with other internal motivations.
More research is needed to determine the most effective interventions for different types of self-harm in the inpatient setting. Targeted intervention for specific types of self-harm may be …