Attitudes of general hospital staff towards patients who self-harm in South India: A cross-sectional study

N Kumar, R Rajendra, M Sumanth, Murali Krishna, Paul Keenan, Steve Jones

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (journal)peer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
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Background There is growing global interest into the attitudes and clinical management of persons who deliberately self-harm. People who self-harm experience many problems and typically have many needs related to management of their psychological well being. A positive attitude among general hospital staff should prevail with people who self-harm.Aims The principal purpose was to determine qualified and student staff staff attitudes towards patients that self-harmed from a professional and cultural perspective, which might influence patient treatment following hospital admission. The focus concentrated upon staff knowledge, attitudes and beliefs regrading self-harm. Methods A validated questionnaire was carried out. This paper reports on interdisciplinary staff from two large general hospitals in Mysore, Southern India (n=773) .Results Findings suggest that within a general hospital setting there is wide variation in staff attitudes and knowledge levels related to self-harm. Whilst there is attitudinal evidence for staff attitudes, this study investigates inter professional differences in an attempt to progress treatment approaches to a vulnerable societal group. Conclusion The results allow a series of recommendations for educational and skills initiatives before progressing to patient assessment and treatment projects and opens potential for cross cultural comparison studies. In addition interventions must focus on current resources and contexts to move the evidence base and approaches to patient care forward.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)547-552
JournalIndian Journal of Psychological Medicine
Issue number6
Early online date30 Nov 2016
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 30 Nov 2016


  • Deliberate self‑harm
  • mental health
  • staff attitudes


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