Impulsiveness and deliberate self-harm: a comparison of ‘first-timers' and ’repeaters‘


Department of Mental Health, University of Bristol, 41 St Michael's Hill, Bristol B52 8DZ, UK


Evans J, Platts H, Liebenau A. Impulsiveness and deliberate self-harm: a comparison of ‘first-timers’ and ‘repeaters’.

Acta Psychiatr Scand 1996: 93: 378–380. © Munksgaard 1996.

This study investigated differences in impulsivity between patients admitted to hospital for the first time after an act of deliberate self-harm (DSH), and those admitted after repetition of DSH. A total of 185 subjects, who were admitted to general hospital wards and referred for psychiatric assessment after DSH, completed self-report questionnaires including the impulsiveness (I-V-E) questionnaire. The presence of factors known to be predictive of repetition was recorded. including any history of DSH. Subjects with a history of DSH had significantly higher scores for impulsiveness than those who were presenting for the first time. Those presenting for the first time had higher scores than expected when compared with normative data after correcting for age and sex. Impulsiveness appears to be an important personality trait in DSH, in particular repeated DSH, and merits further investigation.