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A comparison of the backgrounds of first time and repeated overdose patients.
  1. C J Taylor,
  2. G G Kent,
  3. R W Huws
  1. Accident and Emergency Department, Royal Hallamshire Hospital, Sheffield, UK.


    This study examines the differences between two groups of parasuicide patients: 'first-timers' (patients admitted to hospital following their first overdose) and 'repeaters' (patients admitted with an overdose who had made at least one previous suicide attempt). The two patient groups were compared for factors known to increase the risk of parasuicide as well as for the experience of self-reported past sexual abuse and for symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Out of a total of 100 patients interviewed, seven (15%) of first-timers gave a history of sexual abuse and complained of an average of 0.55 symptoms of PTSD. Among repeaters, 28 (53%) gave a history of sexual abuse and complained of an average of 1.84 symptoms of PTSD. Both results were statistically significant at P < 0.001.

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