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Crisis telephone consultation for deliberate self-harm patients: Effects on repetition

  • Mark O. Evans (a1), H. G. Morgan (a1), Alan Hayward (a2) and David J. Gunnell (a3)



No interventions have been shown to be effective in reducing deliberate self-harm (DSH) repetition in this group of patients as a whole.


To investigate the effect on repetition of offering emergency telephone support in a group of hospital-admitted DSH patients.


Atotal of 827 DSH patients admitted to medical wards were randomly allocated to either control or intervention (green card) groups. In addition to treatment as usual, the intervention group was offered telephone support should any further crises occur. The main outcome measure was DSH repetition within six months of the index event.


The intervention had no significant effect on the overall DSH repetition rate (odds ratio 1.20, 95% CI 0.82–1.75). Sub-group analysis suggested that response to the intervention differed according to the past history of DSH – subjects with a previous history repeating more often and first-timers appearing to benefit.


No overall effect of the intervention was shown. Conclusions concerning sub-groups must be regarded as speculative, but they suggest that further assessment of the value of telephone support in first-timer DSH patients is indicated.


Corresponding author

Dr Mark Evans, Specialist Registrar in Psychotherapy, Brunswick House, 299 Glossop Road. Sheffield S10 2HL


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Declaration of interest

There was no conflict of interest. Funding was provided by a grant from the Department of Health.



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Crisis telephone consultation for deliberate self-harm patients: Effects on repetition

  • Mark O. Evans (a1), H. G. Morgan (a1), Alan Hayward (a2) and David J. Gunnell (a3)
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