Pharmacological interventions for self-harm in adults
Hawton K., Witt KG., Taylor Salisbury TL., Arensman E., Gunnell D., Hazell P., Townsend E., van Heeringen K.
© 2016, Royal College of Psychiatrists. All rights reserved. Background Self-harm (intentional self-poisoning or self-injury) is common, often repeated, and strongly associated with suicide. This is an update of a broader Cochrane review on psychosocial and pharmacological treatments for self-harm, first published in 1998 and previously updated in 1999. We have now divided the review into three separate reviews. This review is focused on pharmacological interventions in adults who self-harm. Objectives To identify all randomised controlled trials of pharmacological agents or natural products for self-harm in adults, and to conduct meta-analyses (where possible) to compare the effects of specific treatments with comparison types of treatment (e.g. placebo/ alternative pharmacological treatment) for self-harm patients. Search methods For this update the Cochrane Depression, Anxiety and Neurosis Review Group (CCDAN) Trials Search Co-ordinator searched the CCDAN Specialised Register (September 2014). Additional searches of MEDLINE, EMBASE, PsycINFO and CENTRAL were conducted to October 2013. Selection criteria We included randomised controlled trials comparing pharmacological treatments or natural products with placebo/alternative pharmacological treatment in individuals with a recent (within 6 months) episode of self-harm resulting in presentation to clinical services. Data collection and analysis We independently selected trials, extracted data and appraised trial quality. For binary outcomes, we calculated odds ratios (ORs) and their 95% confidence intervals (CIs). For continuous outcomes we calculated the mean difference (MD) and 95% CI. Meta-analysis was possible for only one intervention (i.e. newer-generation antidepressants) on repetition of self-harm at last follow-up. For this analysis, we pooled data using a random-effects model. The overall quality of evidence for the primary outcome was appraised for each intervention using the GRADE approach.