Deliberate Self-Harm Among Patients Referring to the Emergency Room in Damghan, Iran


Masuadeh Babakhanian 1 , * , Maliheh Sadeghi 2 , Elham Mohamadpur 3 , Hanieh Rezazadeh 4

1 Department of Social Work, Velayat Hospital, Semnan University of Medical Sciences, Damghan, Iran

2 Health Information Manager, Health Information Technology Group, School of Nursing and Paramedics, Semnan University of Medical Sciences, Semnan, Iran

3 Psychologist, Emam Khomeini Help Committee, Damghan, Iran

4 Family Therapist, University of Science & Culture, Tehran, Iran

How to Cite: Babakhanian M, Sadeghi M, Mohamadpur E, Rezazadeh H. Deliberate Self-Harm Among Patients Referring to the Emergency Room in Damghan, Iran, Iran J Psychiatry Behav Sci. 2014 ; 8(4):46-51.


Iranian Journal of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences: 8 (4); 46-51
Published Online: December 30, 2014
Article Type: Original Article
Received: September 06, 2013
Revised: January 02, 2014
Accepted: June 05, 2014


Objective: Deliberate self-harm (DHS) is a deviant behavior that has been not completely emphasized in health-related studies in Iran. The current study was conducted to explore the prevalence and reasons associated with the incidence of DSH in patients referring to the emergency room of Baradaran-e Rezaee Hospital in Damghan, Iran.

Methods: Fifty-four clients with the mean age of 29.4 (±10.3) years participated in this cross-sectional study in 2010. Firstly, demographics and details of substance use were collected based on items elicited from the Addiction Severity Index (ASI) and a researcher-made questionnaire. Then details of comorbidity and factors associated with the current DHS were collected by a semi-structured interview. Data were analyzed by performing descriptive methods of statistics.

Results: Deliberate self-poisoning with using toxic substances such as lead, and poison (44.8%) followed by drug intoxication such as opiate and methamphetamine (35.2%) and body and vessel cutting (20%) were the most prevalent types of DSH. Furthermore, results revealed that comorbidities such as physical illness (38.9%) and psychiatric disorders including depression (31.5%), psychotic symptoms (15%), bipolar disorder (5.6%), stress (5.6%), and anxiety (1.9%) were commonly prevalent. The most frequently reported factors associated with DSH were desires for self-punishing (42%), self-medication for emotional sufferings (33%), experiencing euphoric feelings (24%), and stress (20%), respectively.

Conclusion: DSH is one of the critical health and treatment priorities, which are prevalent in emergency rooms of hospitals in Iran. Clients with comorbid diagnosis of DSH, especially drug use warrant specific attention in emergency rooms.

Declaration of interest: None.

Citation: Babakhanian M, Sadeghi M, Mohamadpur E, Rezazadeh H. Deliberate self-harm among patients referring to the emergency room in Damghan, Iran. Iran J Psychiatry Behav Sci 2014; 8(4): ...


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