• adolescent;
  • nurse;
  • qualitative research;
  • self-harm;
  • self-mutilation

Rissanen M-L, Kylmä J, Laukkanen E. International Journal of Nursing Practice 2011; 17: 158–165

Self-mutilation among Finnish adolescents: Nurses' conceptions

The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore nurses' views on self-mutilation among adolescents as a phenomenon. The data were collected using focus group interviews, personal interviews and written descriptions from 10 nurses. A qualitative content analysis was applied. Four main themes from nurses' descriptions of self-mutilation emerged: (i) a definition of self-mutilation; (ii) characteristics of self-mutilation; (iii) factors contributing to self-mutilation; and (iv) purposes of self-mutilation. Nurses' conceptions of self-mutilation differ from previously described views of parents and adolescents. Further research is needed focusing on nurses' experiences of caring for adolescents who self-mutilate.