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Research Letter
March 13, 2019

Emergency Department Management of Deliberate Self-harm: A National Survey

Author Affiliations
  • 1Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Columbus, Ohio
  • 2Department of Pediatrics, Ohio State University, Columbus
  • 3Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health, Ohio State University, Columbus
  • 4College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York State Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, Columbia University, New York
  • 5Department of Emergency Medicine, Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, Columbus
  • 6School of Social Policy & Practice, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia
  • 7The Zicklin School of Business, Baruch College, City University of New York, New York
JAMA Psychiatry. 2019;76(6):652-654. doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2019.0063

Approximately 500 000 patients in the United States present to emergency departments (EDs) annually after deliberate self-harm1 and are at high short-term risk for repeat self-harm2 and suicide.3 Improving their emergency care is a key focus of national strategies to reduce the suicide rate,4 yet little is known about ED management of deliberate self-harm. We provide the first national estimates, to our knowledge, of how frequently evidence-based management practices are used by EDs when treating patients who present for self-harm.