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Review: a lack of evidence exists to indicate the most effective treatment for patients who have deliberately harmed themselves

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Question In patients who have deliberately harmed themselves, which psychosocial or pharmacological treatments are most effective?

Data sources

Studies were identified by searching Medline, PsycLIT, EMBASE/Excerpta Medica, and the Cochrane Controlled Trials Register; handsearching 10 journals; reviewing the reference lists of identified articles; and contacting experts.

Study selection

Studies were selected if they were randomised controlled trials comparing psychosocial or psychopharmacological treatments with standard or less intensive types of aftercare for patients who engaged in any type of deliberately initiated self poisoning or self injury shortly before entering a study.

Data extraction

Data were extracted on characteristics of the patients, type and details of the intervention, and proportion of patients who repeated suicidal behaviour. …

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