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Centre for Suicide Research | Research | Patient satisfaction review |


Systematic review of attitudes towards and satisfaction with services among deliberate self-harm patients


Improved management of deliberate self-harm (DSH) patients is highlighted in the National Suicide Prevention Strategy for England (Department of Health, 2002). Management of DSH is also the subject of the recently published NICE guideline Self-harm: the short-term physical and psychological management and secondary prevention of self-harm in primary and secondary care (2004). This document has highlighted standards of care and noted DSH patients’ often negative experiences of current services.

Obtaining information from DSH patients about their attitudes toward care received is an important component of the process of assembling evidence that can assist in the design of improved services. The views held by patients about treatment following an episode of suicidal behaviour not only provide information about how services are, or are not, meeting needs, they may also have an impact on the likelihood that DSH patients will seek help instead of carrying out a further DSH act.

The main objective of the study was to conduct a systematic review of the international qualitative and quantitative literature on patient attitudes and satisfaction with health services following DSH to inform the design and development of improved services for those engaging in deliberate self-harm. The specific aims were to investigate user attitudes toward (a) medical management, (b) in-hospital psychiatric management, and (c) post-discharge management.

This project was funded by the NHS Service Delivery and Organisation R&D Programme.

The full final report and a summary report are available on the SDO website.

Taylor, T. L., Hawton, K., Fortune, S., Kapur, N. (2009) Attitudes towards clinical services among people who self-harm: systematic review. British Journal of Psychiatry, 194, 104-110.

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