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.

Deliberate self-harm (DSH) is a strong predictor of suicide in schizophrenia. The aim of this review was to identify risk factors for DSH in schizophrenia. This systematic review of the international literature examined cohort and case-control studies of patients with schizophrenia or related diagnoses that reported DSH as an outcome. Studies were identified by searching electronic databases and reference lists, and by consulting international experts. Fourteen studies met the eligibility criteria. Of the 29 variables examined by two or more studies, five (past or recent suicidal ideation, previous DSH, past depressive episode, drug abuse or dependence, and higher mean number of psychiatric admissions) were associated with an increased risk of DSH, and one (unemployment) was associated with a reduced risk. Schizophrenic patients with these risk factors need careful follow-up and monitoring, with treatment of any associated comorbid depression or drug abuse. Large, prospective studies of DSH in schizophrenia are needed to further define risk factors and to build on the findings of this review.

Original publication




Journal article


Suicide Life Threat Behav

Publication Date





50 - 62


Adult, Female, Follow-Up Studies, Humans, Male, Risk Factors, Schizophrenia, Self-Injurious Behavior