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Cohort study
Assessment following self-harm: nurses provide comparable risk assessment to psychiatrists but are less likely to admit for in-hospital treatment
  1. Margaret McAllister
  1. School of Health and Sport Sciences, University of the Sunshine Coast, Sippy Downs, Queensland, Australia
  1. Correspondence to Margaret McAllister
    University of the Sunshine Coast, Maroochydore, QLD 4558, Australia; mmcallis{at}

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Implications for practice and research

  • The major role that mental health nurses have in conducting self-harm assessments, including risk assessment and planning care pathways, should continue.

  • There are differences between nurses and psychiatrists in the judgements regarding the management of a client who is at risk of self-harm repetition.

  • Research is required to understand the reasons for the differences in clinical management.

  • It may be that these differences relate more towards how novice or expert the clinician is, rather than their disciplinary base (whether nurse or doctor).

  • If differences are due to expertise, then clinicians could benefit from a shared approach to education on …

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  • Competing interests None.