Survivors of self-inflicted stab wounds

Andrew Gerard*, Gregory De Moore, Olav Nielssen, Matthew Large

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: There are a number of studies describing the survivors of self-incised wounds, but few studies have described the psychiatric condition of survivors of self-inflicted stab wounds. We aimed to describe the characteristics of a complete series of patients treated for self-inflicted stab wounds in a major hospital, and to compare the characteristics of patients with psychotic illness to those with other conditions.Methods: A review of the files of all patients who had a psychiatric evaluation after presenting for treatment following deliberate self-harm. Stab wounds were defined as wounds made by a sharp instrument in which the width was less than the depth.Results: There were 41 survivors of self-inflicted stab wounds among 2119 patients assessed after deliberate self-harm. Of these, 15 were diagnosed with a psychotic illness and the remainder had other conditions, including depression, personality disorder and substance use disorder. There was little difference in the demographic features, clinical variables and in the proportion who were intoxicated between patients diagnosed with psychotic illness and those with other disorders. The patients with psychosis were more likely to have inflicted multiple stab wounds, to have stabbed their chest or abdomen and to have reported the intention of committing suicide.Conclusions: The results suggest that a significant proportion of patients who present for treatment after stabbing themselves suffer from a psychotic illness. However, there were few differences in the characteristics of the patients who had a diagnosis of psychosis and those with other disorders.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)44-48
Number of pages5
JournalAustralasian Psychiatry
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • deliberate self-harm
  • hara-kiri
  • self-stabbing
  • suicide attempt


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