Skip to main content Accessibility help

Domiciliary and out-patient treatment of self-poisoning patients by medical and non-medical staff

  • Keith Hawton (a1), John Bancroft (a1), Jose Catalan (a1), Breda Kingston (a1), Averil Stedeford (a1) and Nick Welch (a1)...


In a study of domiciliary and out-patient treatment of self-poisoning patients, using a brief problem-orientated approach, it was found that domiciliary treatment resulted in much higher attendance rates but no difference in outcome. Patients who completed out-patient treatment had a better outcome than those who failed to attend treatment sessions. Completion of out-patient treatment was more frequent among higher social class patients. Domiciliary treatment may be more appropriate in some cases for married patients and for those of lower social class. Medical and non-medical staff proved to be equally effective therapists. Future research should be concerned with evaluation of alternative methods of provision of help and further identification of patients who are most likely to benefit from treatment.


Corresponding author

1 Address for correspondence: Dr Keith Hawton, Department of Psychiatry, Warneford Hospital, Oxford OX3 7JX.


Hide All
Bancroft, J. H. J., Skrimshire, A., Reynolds, F., Simkin, S. & Smith, J. (1975). Self-poisoning and self-injury in the Oxford area: epidemiological aspects 1969–73. British Journal of Preventive and Social Medicine 29, 170177.
Bancroft, J. H. J., Skrimshire, A., Casson, J., Harvard-Watts, O. & Reynolds, F. (1977). People who deliberately poison or injure themselves: their problems and their contacts with helping agencies. Psychological Medicine 7, 289303.
Beck, A. T., Schuyler, D. & Herman, I. (1974). Development of suicidal intent scales. In The Prediction of Suicide (ed. Beck, A. T., Resnik, H. L. P. and Lettieri, D. J.), pp. 4556. Charles Press: New York.
British Medical Journal (1978). Suicide and parasuicide; ii, 12461247.
Buglass, D. & Horton, J. (1974). A scale for predicting subsequent suicidal behaviour. British Journal of Psychiatry 124, 573578.
Catalan, J., Marsack, P., Hawton, K. E., Whitwell, D., Fagg, J. & Bancroft, J. H. J. (1980). Comparison of doctors and nurses in the assessment of deliberate self- poisoning patients. Psychological Medicine 10, 483492.
Central and Scottish Health Services Councils (1968). Hospital Treatment of Acute Poisoning. HMSO: London.
Chowdhury, N., Hicks, R. C. & Kreitman, N. (1973). Evaluation of an after-care service for parasuicide (attempted suicide) patients. Social Psychiatry 8, 6781.
Gardner, R., Hanka, R., O'Brien, V. C., Page, A. J. F.Rees, P. (1977). Psychological and social evaluation in cases of deliberate self-poisoning admitted to a general hospital. British Medical Journal ii, 15671570.
Gardner, R., Hanka, R., Evison, B., Mountford, P. M., O'Brien, V. C. & Roberts, S. J. (1978). Consultation-liaison scheme for self-poisoned patients in a general hospital. British Medical Journal ii. 13921394.
Gibbons, J. S., Butler, J., Urwin, P. & Gibbons, J. L. (1978). Evaluation of a social work service for self-poisoning patients. British Journal of Psychiatry 133, 111118.
Greer, S. & Bagley, C. (1971). Effect of psychiatric intervention in attempted suicide: a controlled study. British Medical Journal i, 310312.
Hawton, K. (1979). Evaluation of short-term psychiatric intervention following acts of self-poisoning. Unpublished thesis submitted for the degree of D.M.: University of Oxford.
Hawton, K. & Bancroft, J. H. J. (1978). The clinical management of self-poisoning patients. Department of Psychiatry: University of Oxford (unpublished).
Hawton, K., Gath, D. & Smith, E. (1979). Management of attempted suicide in Oxford. British Medical Journal ii, 10401042.
Hoenig, F. & Ragg, N. (1966). The non-attending psychiatric out-patient: an administrative problem. Medical Care 4, 96100.
Holding, T. A., Buglass, D., Duffy, J. C. & Kreitman, N. (1977). Parasuicide in Edinburgh – a seven year review 1968–1974. British Journal of Psychiatry 130, 534543.
Kennedy, P. (1972). Efficiency of a regional poisoning treatment centre in preventing further suicidal behaviour. British Medical Journal iv, 255257.
Kreitman, N. (1977). Parasuicide. John Wiley & Sons: London.
Kreitman, N. (1979). Reflections on the management of parasuicide. British Journal of Psychiatry 135, 275277.
Lorr, M., Daston, P. & Smith, I. R. (1967). An analysis of mood states. Educational and Psychological Measurement 27, 8996.
McNair, D. M. & Lorr, M. (1964). An analysis of mood states in neurotics. Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology 69, 620627.
Newson-Smith, J. G. B. & Hirsch, S. R. (1979). A comparison of social workers and psychiatrists in evaluating parasuicide. British Journal of Psychiatry 134, 335342.
Paykel, E. S., Hallowell, C., Dressler, D. M., Shapiro, D. L. & Weissman, M. M. (1974). Treatment of suicide attempters. Archives of General Psychiatry 31, 487491.
Reid, W. & Epstein, L. (1972). Task-Centred Casework. Columbia University Press: New York.
Sale, I., Williams, C. L., Clark, J. & Mills, J. (1975). Suicide behaviour: community attitudes and beliefs. Suicide 5, 158168.
Skrimshire, A. M. (1976). A small area analysis of self- poisoning and self-injury in the region of Oxford. Journal of Biosocial Science 8, 85112.
Stanley, W. J. (1969). Attempted suicide and suicidal gestures. British Journal of Preventive and Social Medicine 23, 190195.
Weissman, M. M. & Paykel, E. S. (1974). The Depressed Woman: A Study of Social Relationships. University of Chicago Press: Chicago.
Wexler, L., Weissman, M. M. & Kasl, S. V. (1978). Suicide attempts 1970–75: up-dating a United States survey and comparison with international trends. British Journal of Psychiatry 132, 180185.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Psychological Medicine
  • ISSN: 0033-2917
  • EISSN: 1469-8978
  • URL: /core/journals/psychological-medicine
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *


Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed