• Attitudes of general hospital staff towards patients who self-harm in South India: A cross-sectional study

      Kumar, Narendra; Rajendra, Rajagopal; Majgi, Sumanth M.; Krishna, Murali; Keenan, Paul; Jones, Steven; University of Chester (Medknow, 2016-11-30)
      Background: There is growing global interest into the attitudes and clinical management of persons who deliberately self-harm. People who self-harm experience many problems and typically have many needs related to management of their psychological wellbeing. A positive attitude amongst general hospital staff should prevail with people who self-harm. The principal purpose was to determine student staff attitudes towards patients who self-harmed from a professional and cultural perspective, which might influence patient treatment following hospital admission. The focus concentrated upon staff knowledge, attitudes and beliefs regarding self-harm. Methods: A cross sectional survey of the hospital staff using a validated questionnaire was carried out. This paper reports on interdisciplinary staff from two large general hospitals in Mysuru, South India (n=773). Results: Findings suggest that within a general hospital setting there is wide variation in staff attitudes and knowledge levels related to self-harm. Whilst there is attitudinal evidence for staff attitudes, this study investigates interprofessional differences in an attempt to progress treatment approaches to a vulnerable societal group. Very few staff had any training in assessment of self harm survivors. Conclusion: There is an urgent need for training general hospital staff in self harm assessment and prevention in south India. The results allow a series of recommendations for educational and skills initiatives before progressing to patient assessment and treatment projects and opens potential for cross cultural comparison studies. In addition, interventions must focus on current resources and contexts to move the evidence base and approaches to patient care forward.