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A Systematic Review of Training Interventions for Emergency Department Providers and Psychosocial Interventions delivered by Emergency Department Providers for Patients who self-harm

Zarska, A., Barnicot, K., Lavelle, M. ORCID: 0000-0002-3951-0011 , Dorey, T. & McCabe, R. ORCID: 0000-0003-2041-7383 (2022). A Systematic Review of Training Interventions for Emergency Department Providers and Psychosocial Interventions delivered by Emergency Department Providers for Patients who self-harm. Archives of Suicide Research, doi: 10.1080/13811118.2022.2071660

Abstract

Objectives
People who self-harm frequently present to the emergency department (ED) and are treated by generalist healthcare staff with no specialist mental health training. We systematically reviewed (i) training interventions for generalist ED providers and (ii) psychosocial interventions delivered predominantly by generalist ED providers for people who self-harm.

Method
Five databases were searched for studies reporting on training interventions for generalist ED staff (at least 50% of the sample needed to be generalist ED staff) or psychosocial interventions for people who self-harm delivered predominantly by generalist ED staff. No limitations were placed regarding study design/country. Narrative synthesis was conducted.

Results
Fifteen studies from high-income countries were included. Nine studies of moderate methodological quality evaluated training for generalist ED providers (n = 1587). Six studies of good methodological quality evaluated psychosocial interventions for adults who self-harm (n = 3133). Only one randomized controlled trial was identified. Training was linked with pre-post improvements in staff knowledge, and less consistently with improvement in skills, attitudes, and confidence. Evidence on patient outcomes was lacking. Patient-level interventions involving common suicide prevention strategies—safety planning and follow-up contact—were consistently linked to pre-post reductions in suicide attempts. Effects on treatment engagement and psychiatric admissions were unclear.

Conclusions
There is a clear need for further RCTs to improve the evidence base for ED generalist providers managing patients with self-harm. Evidence supports potential benefits of training for improving staff knowledge, attitudes, and skills, and of safety planning and follow-up contact for reducing repeat suicide attempts.

• More RCTs are needed to improve the evidence base for ED providers managing self-harm
• Safety planning and follow up contacts are linked to reductions in repeat suicide attempts
• Future research should investigate the impact of staff training on patient outcomes

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: ß 2022 The Author(s). Published with license by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/), which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, and is not altered, transformed, or built upon in any way.
Publisher Keywords: Suicide, self-harm, emergency department, psychosocial interventions, staff education
Subjects: R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine
R Medicine > RT Nursing
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Nursing
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