A Comparison of Presentations with Self-Harm to Hospital in Lithuania and Ireland.
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JournalInternational journal of environmental research and public health
AbstractSuicide is a serious problem globally, especially in Europe, with suicide rates varying between different countries. Self-harm is a known risk factor for dying by suicide and represents an opportunity to intervene in order to treat any associated mental illness and reduce risk. This study aimed to compare the characteristics of people presenting to hospital with self-harm at two clinical sites: Galway, Ireland and Kaunas, Lithuania. Data were obtained from the services' database and anonymised for analysis. Over a 5-month period, 89 patients presented with self-harm at the Lithuanian site and 224 patients presented with self-harm at the Irish site. This study found significant differences in presentation, diagnosis and treatment between the two sites. All patients at the Lithuanian site were admitted to psychiatry, compared to 22% of patients at the Irish site (p < 0.001). In Lithuania, the main clinical diagnoses were adjustment disorder (37.1%) and major depression (20.2%), compared to substance misuse being the main clinical diagnosis (33.8%) in Ireland (p < 0.001). There were significant differences in the prescription of psychotropic medications (which were three times more commonly prescribed at the Lithuanian site) after controlling for age, gender and psychiatric history (p < 0.001). Further research is required to understand the cultural context behind and further association between hospitalisation and future death by suicide.
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