Survey examines emergency department management of deliberate self-harm

How routinely do emergency room staff members properly provide help to individuals who present for self-harm? Do they appropriately assess patients who are experiencing current suicidal thoughts and offer to help develop individualized treatment plans?

A hospital worker with arm around a patient seen from behind as they look out the window.

These were just some of the critical questions asked in a recent study that examined the usage of evidence-based practices and follow-up care for emergency department (ED) patients who have self-injured.

According to the study, co-conducted by School of Social Policy & Practice research associate professor Steven Marcus, approximately 500,000 patients annually in the United States enter EDs after presenting for self-harm.

Improving the emergency care of high-risk patients is a key focus of national strategies to reduce the suicide rate, yet little is known about how emergency departments manage these patients, according to the study, which was recently published in JAMA Psychiatry. Researchers say the results offer the first national estimates of how frequently evidence-based management practices are used by EDs in the U.S.

Read more at SP2 News.