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Deliberate self-poisoning in Oman

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OBJECTIVE  To describe the demographics, precipitating factors, substances and methods used for deliberate self-harm in Oman.

METHODS  Data were extracted from the Accident and Emergency (A & E) records of patients treated at the A & E units in Muscat from 1993 to 1998. Data were obtained form the history, and clinical findings resulting form deliberate self-harm.

RESULTS  During the 5-year study period, 123 persons presented to various hospitals in the Muscat area with injuries that resulted form deliberate self-harm. Most of these cases were women, students and unemployed. There was a high incidence of family, marital and psychiatric or social problems. The methods of self-harm were most often analgesics (such as paracetamol) and non-pharmaceutical chemicals.

CONCLUSIONS  The rate of self-injurious behaviour is low in Oman, compared with other countries, including other Islamic countries. The data illustrate a rising rate and a tendency to ingest toxic doses of analgesics or non-pharmaceutical chemicals.
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Keywords: Arab/Islamic; Oman; acculturation; deliberate self-harm; modernization; suicide

Document Type: Original Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Behavioural Medicine, College of Medicine, Sultan Qaboos University, Muscat, Oman, 2: Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, USA, 3: Department of Mathematics and Statistics, College of Sciences, Sultan Qaboos University, Muscat, Oman

Publication date: June 1, 2002

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