Background: Deliberate self harm (DSH) registers are the first step towards understanding self-harm in developing countries.
Aims: To determine the feasibility of a DSH register in a state hospital in India.
Methods: For each individual presenting with DSH between February and July 2012, data was collected by interview and from records. Time taken for complete data entry was recorded. The proportion of DSH patients correctly identified and traced after admission was recorded, indicating ‘representativeness’, the proportion for whom a full data set was captured was recorded, indicating ‘completeness’, and the proportion willing to be included in the register and followed up was recorded, indicating ‘acceptability’.
Results: 1072 presented with deliberate self-harm. All inpatient survivors (817) were traced and none objected to their details being entered on the register. Of 1023 on the register, complete data was available for 740 (72.3%). Data was incomplete for 283 (27.7%). All 1023 had performed an act of self-harm necessitating medical intervention. The time between identification and completion of data entry ranged from 30 minutes to 2 hours.
Conclusions: It is feasible to establish an accurate, reliable and complete DSH register in a large Indian state hospital.The clinical and service implications are discussed.