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Treatment received, satisfaction with health care services, and psychiatric symptoms 3 months after hospitalization for self-poisoning

Tine K Grimholt1*, Mari A Bjornaas1, Dag Jacobsen1, Gudrun Dieserud2 and Oivind Ekeberg1

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Acute Medicine, Oslo University Hospital Ulleval HF, Oslo, Norway

2 Norwegian Institute of Public Health, Oslo, Norway

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Annals of General Psychiatry 2012, 11:10  doi:10.1186/1744-859X-11-10

Published: 20 April 2012



Patients who self-poison have high repetition and high mortality rates. Therefore, appropriate follow-up is important. The aims of the present work were to study treatment received, satisfaction with health care services, and psychiatric symptoms after hospitalization for self-poisoning.


A cohort of patients who self-poisoned (n = 867) over a period of 1 year received a questionnaire 3 months after discharge. The Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), Beck Hopelessness Scale (BHS), and Generalized Self-Efficacy Scale (GSE) were used. The participation rate was 28% (n = 242); mean age, 41 years; 66% females.


Although only 14% of patients were registered without follow-up referrals at discharge, 41% reported no such measures. Overall, satisfaction with treatment was fairly good, although 29% of patients waited more than 3 weeks for their first appointment. A total of 22% reported repeated self-poisoning and 17% cutting. The mean BDI and BHS scores were 23.3 and 10.1, respectively (both moderate to severe). The GSE score was 25.2. BDI score was 25.6 among patients with suicide attempts, 24.9 for appeals, and 20.1 for substance-use-related poisonings.


Despite plans for follow-up, many patients reported that they did not receive any. The reported frequency of psychiatric symptoms and self-harm behavior indicate that a more active follow-up is needed.

Follow up; depression; psychiatric symptoms; self-poisoning; suicide attempt; treatment; satisfaction