Date: 19 October 2017
Researchers funded by the NIHR Patient Safety Translational Research Centre (PSTRC) in Manchester have found that reports of self-harm in girls aged between 13 and 16 rose by 68% between 2011 and 2014.
The study, published in the BMJ, showed much higher rates of self-harm in girls than boys overall. The researchers also found that young people living in the most socially deprived areas, often with the most complex needs, were the least likely to be referred to specialist mental health services.
Unlike most previous studies, the team from the University of Manchester examined self-harm recorded in general practice rather than in hospital.
To estimate rates of self-harm, they analysed data for 16,912 patients aged between 10-19 years from 674 general practices, who harmed themselves during 2001 to 2014.
To assess mortality, they compared data from 8,638 of the patients with 170,274 unaffected children, matched by age, gender and general practice.
For girls, the rate of self-harm was 37.4 per 10,000 - much higher than 12.3 per 10,000 in boys. It rose by 68% in girls aged 13 to 16 from 45.9 per 10,000 in 2011 to 77.0 per 10,000 in 2014.
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