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Review: problem solving treatment after deliberate self harm improves depression, hopelessness, and personal problems

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 QUESTION: In people committing deliberate self harm, does problem solving treatment improve mood, hopelessness, and personal problems?

Data sources

Studies were identified by searching Medline; EMBASE/Excerpta Medica; PsycLIT; the Cochrane Controlled Trials Register; and the Cochrane Depression, Anxiety, and Neurosis Trials Register; and by hand searching journals.

Study selection

2 reviewers independently selected studies if they were randomised controlled trials that compared problem-solving treatment with any control intervention for deliberate self harm. Studies were excluded if participants were suicide ideators (without self harm) or if deliberate self harm was an outcome variable in people with depression (without previous self harm).

Data extraction

2 reviewers independently extracted data on patient and trial characteristics and outcomes (depression, hopelessness, and improvement in problems). Disagreements were resolved by a third reviewer.

Main results

6 studies met the selection criteria. Sample sizes ranged …

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  • Sources of funding: South East Region NHSE Research and Development Committee and the former Anglia and Oxford NHSE Research and Development Committee.

  • For correspondence: Professor K Hawton, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK. keith.hawton{at}

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