Volume 65, Issue 4 (3 2007)                   Tehran Univ Med J 2007, 65(4): 59-64 | Back to browse issues page

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Abstract:   (4211 Views)
Background: The object of this study was to determine the epidemiological characteristics of deliberate self-poisoning in adolescents referred to the only poisoning center in Tehran.
Methods: In a cross-sectional study, all cases of acute poisoning at the Loghman Hakim Hospital from May to December 2003 were reviewed. Data for adolescents (13-19 years of age) were analyzed by SPSS for Windows, version 13 and STATA, version 8.
Results: From a total of 9203 cases of deliberate self-poisoning, 28.5% were adolescents (2626 cases). The male/female ratio was 1/2.2. Approximately 87% were unmarried and 56% were students, while a total of 4859 different drugs/agents were used for self-poisoning (an average of 1.85 for each case). The majority of patients was from urban areas and had no history of attempted suicide. There was no difference between males and females regarding history of psychiatric and somatic disorders, though there was a significant difference in the average of age between male and female adolescents.
Conclusions: Among adolescents, self-poisoning is more common in girls while the mean of age is younger in boys. Although the prevalence of psychiatric disorders in adolescents appears to be less than the general population, this may be related to differences in their situations or due to underestimation of their frequencies. Psychiatric care should be a necessary component of the care administered to adolescents who attempt suicide and must be based on the needs and basic assessment of the patient’s status. Research regarding the familial history of abuse, neglect, self-harm/ poi- soning should be undertaken so that such social issues can be prioritized and addressed.
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