Socioeconomic deprivation and self-harm


Understanding the impression that socio-economic deprivation can have on the danger of self-harm and suicide can have severe implications within the improvement of prevention and administration methods and can also be essential when contemplating the therapy wants of people.

Socio-economic deprivation (SED) refers back to the monetary and social disadvantages skilled by a person or neighborhood (Lamnisos et al., 2019). Proof has prompt that self-harm and suicide threat are influenced by each area-level deprivation and individual-level deprivation, with increased ranges of self-harm and suicide discovered in additional disadvantaged areas (Cairns et al., 2017). Nonetheless, these findings are inconsistent, as area-level SED doesn’t all the time correspond to individual-level SED (Kapur et al., 2013).

Furthermore, the connection between deprivation and presentation to hospital following self-harm is unclear. Earlier analysis has prompt that people from areas with much less SED who current to hospital following self-harm are at a larger threat of suicide (Geulayov et al., 2019); whereas different latest analysis has reported contradictory findings (O’Neill et al., 2019). 

The authors of this research, Geulayov et colleagues (2022), aimed to discover the connection between socio-economic deprivation (SED) and:

  • Particular person and medical traits; 
  • Strategies of self-harm;
  • Current issues previous to self-harm.
Deprived areas are associated with higher levels of self-harm and suicide risk.

Disadvantaged areas are related to increased ranges of self-harm and suicide threat.



Researchers included displays of people following self-harm to emergency departments of 5 basic hospitals in Oxford, Manchester and Derby (from the Multicentre Research of Self-Hurt in England).


There have been 108,092 displays to hospitals by 57,306 people aged 15 years and over who had attended the hospitals after non-fatal self-harm between January 1st, 2000 and December thirty first, 2016.

Information assortment and measures

Affected person data was collected via the completion of psychosocial assessments by specialist psychiatric clinicians, or extracted from emergency division databases. People who had died as a direct results of self-harm had been excluded.

Deprivation was assessed utilizing the English Index of A number of Deprivation (IMD), an official measure of deprivation in small geographical areas in England. This scoring makes use of data on revenue, employment, well being, incapacity, training, expertise, coaching, obstacles to housing and providers, residing atmosphere, and crime, to derive a relative deprivation rating for every space. Areas throughout England then are ranked from 1 (most disadvantaged) to 32,844 (least disadvantaged).

Information evaluation

Researchers described the traits of sufferers who introduced to hospital after self-harm, in accordance with their area-level deprivation. Researchers additionally examined the prevalence of issues previous self-harm in relation to degree of deprivation, restricted to solely sufferers who acquired a psychosocial evaluation.


Analytic pattern: 108,092 displays to hospitals by 57,306 individuals

  • Total, 45% of self-harm hospital displays had been by people from areas ranked nationally as most disadvantaged (areas that rating greater than twice the nationwide common on deprivation measures).
  • Solely 13% of displays had been by people from the least disadvantaged areas (which rating half the nationwide common on deprivation measures).
  • Earlier historical past of self-harm was extra prevalent in additional disadvantaged areas.
  • People from probably the most disadvantaged areas tended to be male or from non-white ethnic backgrounds.

Issues previous self-harm pattern: 60,773 displays by 34,188 individuals 

  • Psychological well being difficulties had been cited as previous issues in 29.3% of displays to hospital.
  • Issues in relationships with pals had been extra frequent in probably the most disadvantaged group in contrast with different teams.
  • Monetary, employment, or training points had been extra generally reported by these from much less disadvantaged areas.
  • Relationship difficulties with romantic companions and household had been extra generally reported by these from much less disadvantaged areas.
  • Comparable ranges of bodily, sexual, and emotional abuse, in addition to drug and alcohol issues, had been reported throughout all teams.
  • In 10% of displays, abuse (bodily, sexual, or emotional) was cited as an issue which preceded people’ self-harm. This discovering was related throughout all ranges of deprivation.
  • Alcohol and medicines had been cited as difficulties in 23% and seven.4% of displays, respectively. This additionally gave the impression to be related throughout completely different ranges of deprivation. Nonetheless, the proportion of lacking knowledge on alcohol and drug issues was significantly excessive amongst sufferers from probably the most disadvantaged areas (the place as much as 20% of knowledge had been lacking).
Of all hospital presentations across socio-economically deprived areas, the authors found an over-representation of male and non-white ethnic background individuals.

Of all hospital displays in socio-economically disadvantaged areas, males and non-white ethnic background people had been over-represented.


  • The findings from this research point out that there’s a clear affiliation between socioeconomic deprivation and self-harm, with people who dwell in areas with excessive ranges of deprivation extra more likely to current to hospital following self-harm than people residing in areas with low ranges of deprivation.
  • There was a big variation in areas with larger deprivation when it comes to gender, ethnicity, types of self-harm, and former self-harm.
  • You will need to notice that almost a 3rd of members reported experiencing psychological well being issues previous to presentation to hospital, and almost 1 / 4 reported having issues with alcohol previous to presentation.
45 % of the hospital presentations for self-harm were by individuals from areas ranked nationally as most deprived.

45% of the hospital displays for self-harm had been by people from areas ranked nationally as most disadvantaged.

Strengths and limitations

The authors performed analysis with collected data for over 17 years which permits for adequate knowledge to look at sub-groups inside socially disadvantaged areas. There was a various pattern included within the research because the researchers checked out catchment areas that embody the areas with the best and lowest ranges of social deprivation. It’s additionally noteworthy that the deprivation rating took numerous elements under consideration, e.g., revenue, employment, housing, residing atmosphere, and crime; capturing an holistic image of the inhabitants beneath examination. Sure limitations have been recognized in relation to the research design and reporting of the methodology and findings together with:

  • The proportion of lacking knowledge was larger for people from probably the most disadvantaged areas, and so might not be consultant of all teams. Subsequently, we must always interpret the findings with warning.
  • Among the findings could also be defined by the big pattern reasonably than clinically vital variations.
  • The pattern could be selective as a result of exclusion of these and not using a legitimate postcode and those that had died as a direct results of self-harm.
  • The research solely used medical populations. These sufferers could differ from those that self-harm locally and don’t current to providers.
  • There have been restricted particulars on how they outlined and measured various factors previous self-harm of their psychological evaluation.
It would be helpful for the authors to provide more details on how self-harm was defined and measured in the psychological assessments.

It might be useful for the authors to offer extra particulars on how self-harm was outlined and measured within the psychological assessments.

Implications for observe

Preliminary psychological assessments, formulation and interventions ought to take note of service customers’ socio-economic backgrounds and potential systemic adjustments that may be made with a view to cut back the danger of self-harm. The established hyperlinks between how area-level and particular person traits could affect the danger of self-harm can assist clinicians conceptualise the service customers’ difficulties and develop preliminary hypotheses to drive their motion plan and intervention, in addition to discover extra in-depth the programs surrounding the person. The research presents insights for policymakers, as decreasing deprivation and social inequalities might be confirmed an vital technique in suicide prevention (Hawton et al., 2001). This might be finished by making certain entry to sensible assist for susceptible teams, reminiscent of employment and monetary help, or advocating on their behalf when wanted (i.e., writing letters of assist to entry advantages or secure housing).

Culturally-sensitive, individualised and person-centerd practices needs to be explored and adopted in medical settings, as these can improve adherence and predict higher outcomes in ethnic minorities (Cooper et al., 2013). That is significantly vital in CAMHS providers, given the excessive threat of suicide and self-harm in younger folks beneath the age of 18 years previous. Clinicians have to strategy service customers holding in thoughts their intersectional identities and systemic/structural elements which will affect their presentation and coping mechanisms. Elevated consciousness also can assist clinicians signpost service customers to in-person or on-line assist teams to attach with individuals who share related experiences.

This study highlights the need for individualised and person-centred clinical approaches to self-harm assessment, formulation and intervention.

This research highlights the necessity for individualised and person-centred medical approaches to self-harm evaluation, formulation and intervention.

Assertion of pursuits

No conflicts of curiosity to declare.


Because of the UCL Psychological Well being MSc college students who wrote this weblog from Joseph scholar group: Tatyana Abraham, Kate Jordan, and Lotte Wilcox.

UCL MSc in Psychological Well being Research

This weblog has been written by a bunch of scholars on the Medical Psychological Well being Sciences MSc at College Faculty London. A full record of blogs by UCL MSc college students might be discovered right here, and you’ll observe the Psychological Well being Research MSc crew on Twitter.

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Main paper

Geulayov, G., Casey, D., Bale, E., Model, F., Clements, C., Farooq, B., Kapur, N., Ness, J., Waters, Ok., Patel, A., & Hawton, Ok. (2022). Socio-economic disparities in sufferers who current to hospital for self-harm: Sufferers’ traits and issues within the multicentre research of self-harm in England. Journal of Affective Issues, 318, 238–245.

Different references

Lamnisos, D., Lambrianidou, G., & Middleton, N. (2019). Small-area socioeconomic deprivation indices in Cyprus: improvement and affiliation with untimely mortality. BMC Public Well being, 19(1), 1-11.

Cairns, J. M., Graham, E., & Bambra, C. (2017). Space-level socioeconomic drawback and suicidal behaviour in Europe: a scientific overview. Social Science & Medication, 192, 102-111.

Kapur, N., Steeg, S., Webb, R., Haigh, M., Bergen, H., Hawton, Ok., … & Cooper, J. (2013). Does medical administration enhance outcomes following self-harm? Outcomes from the multicentre research of self-harm in England. PloS one, 8(8), e70434.

Geulayov, G., Casey, D., Bale, L., Model, F., Clements, C., Farooq, B., … & Hawton, Ok. (2019). Suicide following presentation to hospital for non-fatal self-harm within the Multicentre Research of Self-harm: a long-term follow-up research. The Lancet Psychiatry, 6(12), 1021-1030.

O’Neill, S., Graham, B., & Ennis, E. (2019). Emergency division and hospital care previous to suicide: A inhabitants based mostly case management research. Journal of affective problems, 249, 366-370.

Hawton, Ok., Harriss, L., Corridor, S., Simkin, S., Bale, E., & Bond, A. (2003). Deliberate self-harm in Oxford, 1990–2000: a time of change in affected person traits. Psychological medication, 33(6), 987-995.

Hawton, Ok., Harriss, L., Hodder, Ok., Simkin, S., & Gunnell, D. (2001). The affect of the financial and social atmosphere on deliberate self-harm and suicide: An ecological and person-based research. Psychological Medication, 31(5), 827–836.

Cooper C, Spiers N, Livingston G, Jenkins R, Meltzer H, Brugha T, et al. Ethnic inequalities in the usage of well being providers for frequent psychological problems in England. Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology. 2013;48(5):685–92. doi:10.1007/s00127-012-0565-y

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