Document Detail

History of deliberate self harm may predict methods of fatal self harm in the elderly.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  11368389     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
In this study we examined the association between methods of Deliberate Self Harm (DSH) by the elderly and their subsequent methods of Fatal Self Harm (FSH). Data was collected from the files of inquests into suicide by the elderly in Birmingham and Cheshire Coroner's Courts. All the subjects were above the age of 60, had history of deliberate self harm before the final act of fatal self harm and attracted either suicide or open verdict returned by the Coroners over a period of four years 1995-1998. We compared the methods of Deliberate Self Harm (DSH) to the methods of Fatal Self Harm (FSH) used by all the included elderly. 18 per cent of elderly victims of FSH had a previous history of DSH and in 35 per cent of the sample, the last known attempt of DSH occurred more than one year prior to the FSH. The majority of the methods that had been used in elderly DSH were used again in their final act of FSH. Nearly two thirds of all the elderly who died of an overdose had attempted suicide earlier by an overdose and one in five of those who died by hanging or drowning used the same method in an unsuccessful attempt of FSH within 12 months. A detailed history of DSH can improve the quality of risk assessment of self harm in the elderly. As more than one in three elderly victims of FSH attempted DSH more than a year prior to the final act, it is important when assessing an elderly DSH attempt that we obtain any previous case notes and question informants about the distant as well as the recent past.
E Salib; G Tadros; S Cawley
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Medicine, science, and the law     Volume:  41     ISSN:  0025-8024     ISO Abbreviation:  Med Sci Law     Publication Date:  2001 Apr 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2001-05-22     Completed Date:  2001-07-05     Revised Date:  2004-11-17    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0400721     Medline TA:  Med Sci Law     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  107-10     Citation Subset:  IM    
Hollins Park Hospital, Warrington.
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MeSH Terms
Aged, 80 and over
Cause of Death*
England / epidemiology
Middle Aged
Retrospective Studies
Risk Assessment
Suicide / statistics & numerical data*
Suicide, Attempted / statistics & numerical data*
Comment In:
Med Sci Law. 2002 Jan;42(1):87; author reply 87-8   [PMID:  11848144 ]

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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