Self-injurious behaviour in people with mental handicap: a total population study.

C. Oliver*, G. H. Murphy, J. A. Corbett

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

175 Citations (Scopus)


A survey of self-injurious behaviour in people receiving services for mental handicap was carried out in one health region. Six hundred and sixteen adults and children were found to have engaged in self-injurious behaviour sufficient to have caused tissue damage in the previous 4 months and 596 of these were screened. Half were resident in hospital while 28% were in non-hospital residential care and the remainder (21%) were living at home. Nearly one-fifth (19%) showed self-injurious behaviour, of one or more types, at a rate of at least once per hour and a further 13% wore protective or restraining devices for all or part of the day or night. Only 2% were enrolled on formal psychological treatment programmes but nearly half were receiving psychotropic drugs (excluding anticonvulsants).

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Mental Deficiency Research
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 1987

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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