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People who experience homelessness are thought to be at high risk of suicide, but little is known about self-harm in this population.
To examine characteristics and outcomes in people experiencing homelessness who presented to hospital following self-harm.
Data were collected via specialist assessments and/or hospital patient records from emergency departments in Manchester, Oxford and Derby, UK. Data were collected from 1 January 2000 to 31 December 2016, with mortality follow-up via data linkage with NHS Digital to 31 December 2019. Trend tests estimated change in self-harm over time; descriptive statistics described characteristics associated with self-harm. Twelve-month repetition and long-term mortality were analysed using Cox proportional hazards models and controlled for age and gender.
There were 4841 self-harm presentations by 3270 people identified as homeless during the study period. Presentations increased after 2010 (IRR = 1.09, 95% CI 1.04–1.14, P < 0.001). People who experienced homelessness were more often men, White, aged under 54 years, with a history of previous self-harm and contact with psychiatric services. Risk of repetition was higher than in domiciled people (HR = 2.05, 95% CI 1.94–2.17, P < 0.001), as were all-cause mortality (HR = 1.45, 95% CI 1.32–1.59. P < 0.001) and mortality due to accidental causes (HR = 2.93, 95% CI 2.41–3.57, P < 0.001).
People who self-harm and experience homelessness have more complex needs and worse outcomes than those who are domiciled. Emergency department contact presents an opportunity to engage people experiencing homelessness with mental health, drug and alcohol, medical and housing services, as well as other sources of support.
Guidance in England recommends psychosocial assessment when presenting to hospital following self-harm but adherence is variable. There is some evidence suggesting that psychosocial assessment is associated with lower risk of subsequent presentation to hospital for self-harm, but the potential cost-effectiveness of psychosocial assessment for hospital-presenting self-harm is unknown.
A three-state four-cycle Markov model was used to assess cost-effectiveness of psychosocial assessment after self-harm compared with no assessment over 2 years. Data on risk of subsequent self-harm and hospital costs of treating self-harm were drawn from the Multicentre Study of Self-Harm in England, while estimates of effectiveness of psychosocial assessment on risk of self-harm, quality of life, and other costs were drawn from literature. Incremental cost-effectiveness ratios (ICERs) for cost per Quality Adjusted Life Year (QALY) gained were estimated. Parameter uncertainty was addressed in univariate and probabilistic sensitivity analyses.
Cost per QALY gained from psychosocial assessment was £10,962 (95% uncertainty interval [UI] £15,538–£9,219) from the National Health Service (NHS) perspective and £9,980 (95% UI £14,538–£6,938) from the societal perspective. Results were generally robust to changes in model assumptions. The probability of the ICER being below £20,000 per QALY gained was 78%, rising to 91% with a £30,000 threshold.
Psychosocial assessment as implemented in the English NHS is likely to be cost-effective. This evidence could support adherence to NICE guidelines. However, further evidence is needed about the precise impacts of psychosocial assessment on self-harm repetition and costs to individuals and their families beyond immediate hospital stay.
Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is one of the most effective treatments for treatment-resistant depression (TRD). However, due to response delay and cognitive impairment, ECT remains an imperfect treatment. Compared to ECT, repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) is less effective at treating severe depression, but has the advantage of being quick, easy to use, and producing almost no side effects. In this study, our objective was to assess the priming effect of rTMS sessions before ECT on clinical response in patients with TRD.
In this multicenter, randomized, double-blind, sham-controlled trial, 56 patients with TRD were assigned to active or sham rTMS before ECT treatment. Five sessions of active/sham neuronavigated rTMS were administered over the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (20 Hz, 90% resting motor threshold, 20 2 s trains with 60-s intervals, 800 pulses/session) before ECT (which was active for all patients) started. Any relative improvements were then compared between both groups after five ECT sessions, in order to assess the early response to treatment.
After ECT, the active rTMS group exhibited a significantly greater relative improvement than the sham group [43.4% (28.6%) v. 25.4% (17.2%)]. The responder rate in the active group was at least three times higher. Cognitive complaints, which were assessed using the Cognitive Failures Questionnaire, were higher in the sham rTMS group compared to the active rTMS group, but this difference was not corroborated by cognitive tests.
rTMS could be used to enhance the efficacy of ECT in patients with TRD. ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT02830399.
The long-term prospective multi-centre nationwide (French) observational study FRANCISCO will provide new information on perimembranous ventricular septal defect with left ventricular overload but no pulmonary hypertension in children older than 1 year. Outcomes will be compared according to treatment strategy (watchful waiting, surgical closure, or percutaneous closure) and anatomic features of the defect. The results are expected to provide additional guidance about the optimal treatment of this specific population, which is unclear at present.
We compared the risk of death by suicide following hospital presentation for self-harm according to site of self-cut/stab.
We included 54 999 self-harm presentations (involving 31 419 individuals) to hospitals in the Multicentre Study of Self-harm in England (1/1/2004–31/12/2014), with mortality follow-up to 31/12/2019. Information on method of self-harm was obtained through monitoring in hospitals. Information about mortality was obtained through linkage with NHS Digital. We assessed the association of site of self-cut with death by suicide using mixed effect models.
In total, 10 790 (19.6%) hospital presentations involved self-cutting/stabbing, 7489 of which (69.4%) were due to laceration to the arm/wrist alone, 1846 episodes (17.1%) involved cutting elsewhere on the body, and 1455 (13.5%) were due to laceration to unknown site. Controlling for confounders, presentation to a hospital following self-cut/stab to bodily parts other than wrist/arm was associated with greater chance of subsequent suicide relative to presentation after self-poisoning alone [adjusted odds ratio (aOR) 1.75, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.03–2.96, p = 0.038]. The likelihood of suicide after presentation for cutting/stabbing the wrist/arm alone was comparable to that of patients who had self-poisoned alone. Presentations after laceration involving the neck were associated with a four-fold greater chance of subsequent suicide relative to self-poisoning (aOR 4.09, 95% CI 1.80–9.30, p = 0.001).
Patients who attend hospital after self-cutting/stabbing are a heterogeneous group in terms of characteristics, methods of cutting/stabbing and risk of subsequent suicide. Risk of suicide is greater in individuals who self-cut/stab to parts of the body other than the wrist or arm, especially the neck.
Depression and anxiety are two very common psychiatric disorders in late-life. They are markers of poor quality of life and are strongly associated with death among older people. Yet, few studies on these comorbidities have been conducted in the African population. This study aims to present the epidemiology of depression and anxiety among older people in Central Africa.
A cross-sectional population-based study was carried out in Republic of Congo (ROC) and Central African Republic (CAR) between 2011 - 2012 among older people aged ? 65 years (EPIDEMCA study). Data were collected using a standardized questionnaire and participants underwent a brief physical examination. Depression and anxiety symptoms were ascertained using a community version of the Geriatric Mental State (GMS-B3) and the Automated Geriatric Examination for Computer Assisted Taxonomy diagnostic system (AGECAT), probable cases were defined as having a GMS-AGECAT level of 3 or more. Logistic regression models were used to investigate the association between potential risk factors collected and each symptom.
Overall 2002 participants were included in the EPIDEMCA study (500 in Brazzaville and 529 in Gamboma in ROC, 500 in Bangui and 473 in Nola (473) in CAR). Median age of the participants was 72 years [interquartile range: 68 – 78 years] and females were mostly represented (61.8%). Prevalence was 38.1% (95% Confidence Interval: 35.9% - 40.2%) for depression, 7.7% (95% CI: 6.5% - 8.9%) for anxiety and 5.7% (95% CI: 4.6% - 6.7%) for the co-occurrence of both disorders. For all three outcomes, prevalence was significantly higher among females and in rural areas. Only depression increased with age. Preliminary analyses showed that female sex, living in a rural area, and living without a partner were associated with the three outcomes (Odds Ratios from 1.59 to 3.27; p<0.01). In-depth results regarding correlates of depression, anxiety and the co-occurrence of both will be presented.
The prevalence of depression and anxiety was high among Central African older people. Evidence on the epidemiology of these common psychiatric symptoms are of importance for care management and also emphasize the need to maintain and/or strengthen social support around older people in the region.
The aim of this study was to estimate incidence of self-harm presentations to hospitals and their associated hospital costs across England.
We used individual patient data from the Multicentre Study of Self-harm in England of all self-harm presentations to the emergency departments of five general hospitals in Oxford, Manchester and Derby in 2013. We also obtained cost data for each self-harm presentation from the hospitals in Oxford and Derby, as well as population and geographical estimates from the Office for National Statistics. First, we estimated the rate of self-harm presentations by age and gender in the Multicentre Study and multiplied this with the respective populations to estimate the number of self-harm presentations by age and gender for each local Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) area in England. Second, we performed a regression analysis on the cost data from Oxford and Derby to predict the hospital costs of self-harm in Manchester by age, gender, receipt of psychosocial assessment, hospital admission and type of self-harm. Third, the mean hospital cost per age year and gender were combined with the respective number of self-harm presentations to estimate the total hospital costs for each CCG in England. Sensitivity analysis was performed to address uncertainty in the results due to the extrapolation of self-harm incidence and cost from the Multicentre Study to England.
There were 228 075 estimated self-harm presentations (61% were female) by 159 857 patients in 2013 in England. The largest proportions of self-harm presentations were in the age group 40–49 years (30%) for men and 19–29 years (28%) for women. Associated hospital costs were approximately £128.6 (95% CI 117.8−140.9) million in 2013. The estimated incidence of self-harm and associated hospital costs were lower in the majority of English coastal areas compared to inland regions but the highest costs were in Greater London. Costs were also higher in more socio-economically deprived areas of the country compared with areas that are more affluent. The sensitivity analyses provided similar results.
The results of this study highlight the extent, hospital costs and distribution of self-harm presentations to hospitals in England and identify potential sub-populations that might benefit from targeted actions to help prevent self-harm and assist those who have self-harmed. They can support national as well as local health stakeholders in allocating funds and prioritising interventions in areas with the greatest need for preventing and managing self-harm.
To investigate the spatial distribution of self-harm incidence rates, their socioeconomic correlates and sex/age differences using data on self-harm presentations to emergency departments from The Manchester Self-Harm Project (2003–2013).
Smoothed standardised incidence ratios for index self-harm episodes (n = 14 771) and their associations with area-level socioeconomic factors across 258 small areas (median population size = 1470) in the City of Manchester municipality were estimated using Bayesian hierarchical models.
Higher numbers and rates of self-harm were found in the north, east and far southern zones of the city, in contrast to below average rates in the city centre and the inner city zone to the south of the centre. Males and females aged 10–24, 25–44 and 45–64 years showed similar geographical patterning of self-harm. In contrast, there was no clear pattern in the group aged 65 years and older. Fully adjusted analyses showed a positive association of self-harm rates with the percentage of the unemployed population, households privately renting, population with limiting long-term illness and lone-parent households, and a negative association with the percentage of ethnicity other than White British and travel distance to the nearest hospital emergency department. The area-level characteristics investigated explained a large proportion (four-fifths) of the variability in area self-harm rates. Most associations were restricted to those aged under 65 years and some associations (e.g. with unemployment) were present only in the youngest age group.
The findings have implications for allocating prevention and intervention resources targeted at high-risk groups in high incidence areas. Targets for area-based interventions might include tackling the causes and consequences of joblessness, better treatment of long-term illness and consideration of the accessibility of health services.
In England suicide rates are highest in midlife (defined as age 40–59). Despite a strong link with suicide there has been little focus on self-harm in this age group.
To describe characteristics and treatment needs of people in midlife who present to hospital following self-harm.
Data from the Multicentre Study of Self-harm in England were used to examine rates over time and characteristics of men and women who self-harm in midlife. Data (2000–2013) were collected via specialist assessments or hospital records. Trends were assessed by negative binomial regression models. Comparative analysis used logistic regression models for binary outcomes. Repetition and suicide mortality were assessed by Cox proportional hazards models.
A quarter of self-harm presentations were made by people in midlife (n = 24 599, 26%). Incidence rates increased over time in men, especially after 2008 (incidence rate ratio [IRR] 1.07, 95% CI 1.02–1.12, P < 0.01), and were positively correlated with national suicide incidence rates (r = 0.52, P = 0.05). Rates in women remained relatively stable (IRR 1.00, 95% CI 1.00–1.02, P = 0.39) and were not correlated with suicide. Alcohol use, unemployment, housing and financial factors were more common in men; whereas indicators of poor mental health were more common in women. In men and women 12-month repetition was 25%, and during follow-up 2.8% of men and 1.2% of women died by suicide.
Self-harm in midlife represents a key target for intervention. Addressing underlying issues, alcohol use and economic factors may help prevent further self-harm and suicide.
Declaration of interest
K.H. and N.K. are members of the Department of Health's National Suicide Prevention Advisory Group. N.K. chaired the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guideline development group for the longer-term management of self-harm and the NICE Topic Expert Group which developed the quality standards for self-harm services. N.K. also chairs the NICE guideline committee for the management of depression. All other authors declare no conflict of interest.
Many mental health service users delay or avoid disclosing their condition to employers because of experience, or anticipation, of discrimination. However, non-disclosure precludes the ability to request ‘reasonable adjustments’. There have been no intervention studies to support decisionmaking about disclosure to an employer.
To determine whether the decision aid has an effect that is sustained beyond its immediate impact; to determine whether a large-scale trial is feasible; and to optimise the designs of a larger trial and of the decision aid.
In this exploratory randomised controlled trial (RCT) in London, participants were randomly assigned to use of a decision aid plus usual care or usual care alone. Follow-up was at 3 months. Primary outcomes were: (a) stage of decision-making; (b) decisional conflict; and (c) employment-related outcomes (trial registration number: NCT01379014).
We recruited 80 participants and interventions were completed for 36 out of 40 in the intervention group; in total 71 participants were followed up. Intention-to-treat analysis showed that reduction in decisional conflict was significantly greater in the intervention group than among controls (mean improvement −22.7 (s.d. = 15.2) v. −11.2 (s.d. = 18.1), P = 0.005). More of the intervention group than controls were in full-time employment at follow-up (P = 0.03).
The observed reduction in decisional conflict regarding disclosure has a number of potential benefits which next need to be tested in a definitive trial.