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    A Qualitative Account of Young People’s Experiences Seeking Care from Emergency Departments for Self-Harm

    Byrne, Sadhbh J. and Bellairs-Walsh, India and Rice, Simon M. and Bendall, Sarah and Lamblin, Michelle and Boubis, Emily and McGregor, Brianna and O’Keefe, Meghan and Robinson, Jo (2021) A Qualitative Account of Young People’s Experiences Seeking Care from Emergency Departments for Self-Harm. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 18 (6). p. 2892. ISSN 1660-4601

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    Many young people who engage in self-harm do not seek help from health services. For those that do, emergency departments (EDs) are a key point of contact. Substantial gaps remain in current knowledge related to young consumers’ experiences and views on optimal treatment of self-harm in the ED. In this study, semi-structured interviews were conducted with thirteen young people (Mage = 21.2 years), who were engaged with care at headspace early intervention centers and had presented to an ED with a self-inflicted physical injury. Participants were asked to describe their experience in the ED and the care they received. Data were analyzed thematically. Three inter-related themes were identified: 1. The ED was experienced through a lens of significant distress, 2. The ED environment and processes were counter-therapeutic, and 3. Staff were perceived to be disinterested, dismissive, and lacking in knowledge. The study highlights the overwhelmingly negative nature of participants’ experiences, and presents recommendations for service and practice improvements, such as the provision of staff training and increased aftercare.

    Item Type: Article
    Keywords: self-harm; emergency departments; young people; qualitative;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Science and Engineering > Psychology
    Item ID: 16648
    Identification Number:
    Depositing User: Sadhbh Byrne
    Date Deposited: 24 Oct 2022 11:46
    Journal or Publication Title: International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
    Publisher: MDPI
    Refereed: Yes
    Use Licence: This item is available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike Licence (CC BY-NC-SA). Details of this licence are available here

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