Department of Economics and Business Economics

Absolute risks of self-harm and interpersonal violence by diagnostic category following first discharge from inpatient psychiatric care

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperJournal articleResearchpeer-review

  • P L H Mok, University of Manchester
  • ,
  • F Walter, University of Manchester
  • ,
  • M J Carr, University of Manchester
  • ,
  • S Antonsen
  • N Kapur, University of Manchester
  • ,
  • S Steeg, University of Manchester
  • ,
  • J Shaw, University of Manchester
  • ,
  • C B Pedersen
  • R T Webb, University of Manchester

Background Persons discharged from inpatient psychiatric services are at greatly elevated risk of harming themselves or inflicting violence on others, but no studies have reported gender-specific absolute risks for these two outcomes across the spectrum of psychiatric diagnoses. We aimed to estimate absolute risks for self-harm and interpersonal violence post-discharge according to gender and diagnostic category. Methods Danish national registry data were utilized to investigate 62,922 discharged inpatients, born 1967-2000. An age and gender matched cohort study was conducted to examine risks for self-harm and interpersonal violence at 1 year and at 10 years post-discharge. Absolute risks were estimated as cumulative incidence percentage values. Results Patients diagnosed with substance misuse disorders were at especially elevated risk, with the absolute risks for either self-harm or interpersonal violence being 15.6% (95% CI 14.9, 16.3%) of males and 16.8% (15.6, 18.1%) of females at 1 year post-discharge, rising to 45.7% (44.5, 46.8%) and 39.0% (37.1, 40.8%), respectively, within 10 years. Diagnoses of personality disorders and early onset behavioral and emotional disorders were also associated with particularly high absolute risks, whilst risks linked with schizophrenia and related disorders, mood disorders, and anxiety/somatoform disorders, were considerably lower. Conclusions Patients diagnosed with substance misuse disorders, personality disorders and early onset behavioral and emotional disorders are at especially high risk for internally and externally directed violence. It is crucial, however, that these already marginalized individuals are not further stigmatized. Enhanced care at discharge and during the challenging transition back to life in the community is needed.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere13
JournalEuropean Psychiatry
Pages (from-to)1-26
Number of pages26
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2023

    Research areas

  • Discharge from inpatient care, interpersonal violence, psychiatric illness, self-harm, substance misuse

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