Deliberate self-harm in children and adolescents: a research update.
Fortune SA., Hawton K.
PURPOSE OF REVIEW: We outline research developments in 2004 and early 2005 published in English language journals on deliberate self-harm among children and adolescents up to the age of 18 years. RECENT FINDINGS: The main issue of concern in recent times has been the risk/benefit profile of using antidepressants, especially selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, in depressed children and adolescents. Other important topics include treatment approaches, particularly cognitive behaviour therapy, dialectical behaviour therapy and multisystemic therapy, barriers to help seeking, the Internet and prevention. SUMMARY: Rates of deliberate self-harm appear to be rising among young people. Risk factors associated with deliberate self-harm are becoming clearer and the evaluation of treatments is progressing. However, the recent conflicting evidence and guidelines regarding selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors and suicidality are presenting major difficulties for clinicians. The role of the Internet and initiatives to prevent suicidal behaviour in adolescents require further research.