Emergency Department Visits for Non-suicidal Self-harm, Suicidal Ideation, and Suicide Attempts in Children and Adolescents

Abstract

Self-harm presentations to emergency departments (ED) have become a growing concern, yet little is known about self-harm visits in pediatric EDs. This study aimed to investigate the clinical and demographic characteristics of patients who presented to the pediatric ED between 2012 and 2017 with non-suicidal self-harm (NSSH, n = 63, 60.3% female, M = 14.25 years), suicidal ideation (SI, n = 75, 57.3% female, M = 14.83 years), and suicide attempts (SA, n = 461, 82.9% female, M = 15.41 years). Also, predictors of SA were investigated. Of the patients, 79.4% had at least a psychiatric disorder. Depression was the most common diagnosis in the SI and SA groups, and autism spectrum disorder and intellectual disability were the leading diagnoses in the NSSH group. Self-poisoning was the most common method, and older age, female sex, having relational problems, and prior or current psychiatric admissions were the most important predictive factors of SA. NSSH, SI, and SA exhibit different features in early life. EDs provide an important opportunity for initiating developmentally appropriate interventions to reduce future risks.

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Correspondence to Onur Tuğçe Poyraz Fındık.

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Poyraz Fındık, O.T., Erdoğdu, A.B., Fadıloğlu, E. et al. Emergency Department Visits for Non-suicidal Self-harm, Suicidal Ideation, and Suicide Attempts in Children and Adolescents. Child Psychiatry Hum Dev (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10578-021-01125-6

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Keywords

  • Self-harm
  • Suicide
  • Self-injury
  • Depression
  • Psychiatric disorders