Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

The attitudes of junior psychiatrists to deliberate self‐poisoning were assessed on the basis of their answers to a series of questions concerning four case vignettes. They spontaneously indicated goals for the behaviour in only a minority of cases. Emphasis should be placed on identifying instrumental aspects of overdoses during training in the assessment of self‐poisoning patients. The psychiatrists attributed similar reasons for the cases as did physicians and nurses who were previously investigated using the same method. However, compared with the physicians, the psychiatrists showed more sympathetic attitudes to the patients and their behaviour, and a greater willingness to help them. The psychiatrists and nurses were similar in this respect. The findings are discussed in the light of recent innovations in the management of self‐poisoning patients in general hospitals. 1981 The British Psychological Society

Original publication




Journal article


British Journal of Medical Psychology

Publication Date





341 - 348