Psychological Factors in Deliberate Self-Harm As Seen in an Urban African Population in Uganda: A Case-Control Study

Department of Psychology, Norwegian University of Science and Technology.
Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior (Impact Factor: 1.4). 09/2005; 35(4):468-77. DOI: 10.1521/suli.2005.35.4.468
Source: PubMed


Psychological factors associated with deliberate self-harm (DSH) as seen in an African population in Uganda are described. A case-control study design was employed in which a Luganda version (predominant language in the study area) of the modified European Parasuicide Interview Schedule I (EPSIS I) was used to collect data. The controls were patients admitted to the participating hospitals for non-recurrent medical conditions. Hopelessness, global psychological distress, and state anger, but not depression, were significantly associated with DSH after controlling for other factors. Both depression and hopelessness were significantly associated with suicidal intent independent of each other. Differences were observed on the psychological factors associated with suicidal intent in the different age/sex groups and in the depressed/nondepressed group. Interventions for DSH in this population should include treatments for both depression and hopelessness. This study further raises questions about the universality of the structural relationship among depression, hopelessness, and suicidality.

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