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BACKGROUND: Hospital-treated self-harm is common, costly and associated with repeated self-harm and suicide. Providing a comprehensive psychosocial assessment following self-harm is recommended by professional bodies and may improve outcomes. AIMS: To review the provision of psychosocial assessments after hospital-presenting self-harm and the extent to which macro-level factors indicative of service provision explain variability in these estimates. METHOD: We searched five electronic databases to 3 January 2023 for studies reporting data on the proportion of patients and/or events that were provided a psychosocial assessment. Pooled weighted prevalence estimates were calculated with the random-effects model. Random-effects meta-regression was used to investigate between-study variability. RESULTS: 119 publications (69 unique samples) were included. Across ages, two-thirds of patients had a psychosocial assessment (0.67, 95% CI 0.58-0.76). The proportion was higher for young people and older adults (0.75, 95% CI 0.36-0.99 and 0.83, 95% CI 0.48-1.00, respectively) compared with adults (0.64, 95% CI 0.54-0.73). For events, around half of all presentations had these assessments across the age range. No macro-level factor explained between-study heterogeneity. CONCLUSIONS: There is room for improvement in the universal provision of psychosocial assessments for self-harm. This represents a missed opportunity to review and tailor aftercare supports for those at risk. Given the marked unexplained heterogeneity between studies, the person- and system-level factors that influence provision of psychosocial assessments after self-harm should be studied further.

Original publication




Journal article


Bjpsych open

Publication Date





Self-harm, mental health services, psychosocial interventions, risk assessment, suicide