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Pattern and Trend of Deliberate Self-Harm in Western Nepal

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Abstract: 

Acts of deliberate self-harm (DSH) not only affect the people directly involved, but also have grave psychological and social impact on the family and community. In the present study, a cohort of 173 cases of DSH reported from April 2002 to March 2005 was retrospectively analyzed, by perusing the medicolegal register maintained by the Emergency Department at the Western Regional Hospital, Pokhara in the Western Development Region of Nepal. The data were entered and analyzed using SPSS Version 10.1. More than two-thirds of total cases were females. About 60% of cases were observed in the age group of 15–24 years. Poisoning (89.6%) was the most preferred method of deliberate self-harm. Organophosphate pesticides were consumed in nearly two-thirds of the poisoning cases. The majority of cases were reported during the months of May to July and had occurred during the last quarter of the day. More than a twofold increase was observed in the frequency of cases during the 3-year study period. The said observations were compared and contrasted with the available literature across the globe. The presentation is concluded by highlighting the limitations encountered in Nepal and the scope to overcome the same.
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Keywords: Nepal; attempted suicide; deliberate self-harm; forensic science; hanging; organophosphates; pesticides; poisoning

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Community Medicine, Aarupadai Veeru Medical College, Pondicherry, India. 2: Department of Statistics, Manipal University, Manipal, India. 3: Department of Forensic Medicine and Toxicology, Kasturba Medical College, Mangalore, India. 4: Department of Forensic Medicine and Toxicology, Kasturba Medical College, Manipal, India. 5: Manipal College of Medical Sciences, Pokhara, Nepal. 6: Department of Pharmacology, Manipal College of Medical Sciences, Pokhara, Nepal. 7: Department of Community Medicine, Manipal College of Medical Sciences, Pokhara, Nepal.

Publication date: 2009-05-01

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