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General interest items edited by Janice Flahiff

Better Screening Urged for Self-Injury in Teens

Not all kids who intentionally cut or burn themselves meet ‘classic profile,’ expert says

Excerpt:

MONDAY, Sept. 27 (HealthDay News) — Doctors often fail to screen their adolescent eating-disorder patients for evidence of self-inflicted physical harm in the form of cutting or burning, new research reveals.

The observation stems from work conducted by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine and Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital in Palo Alto, Calif.

Led by Dr. Rebecka Peebles (who conducted the study while a Stanford pediatrics instructor), the research team published its findings in the Sept. 28 online edition of the Journal of Adolescent Health.[As a pre-publication, only available by individual subscription,  for more information, ask a reference librarian at any academic or medical institution]

Peebles and her colleagues noted that eating disorders typically found among adolescents, such as bulimia and anorexia, are often associated with a higher risk for self-inflicted injury. This, Peebles noted in a Stanford news release, often stems from a troubled patient’s need to try “to feel pain.”

“Patients describe a feeling of release that comes when they cut or burn themselves,” she said. “They’ll cut with a razor or a scissor blade. Sometimes we’ve even had kids who will take the tip of a paper clip and gouge holes. To burn themselves, they’ll heat up a metal object and press it to their skin, or they’ll use cigarettes.”

Prior research has indicated that between 13 percent and 40 percent of all American adolescents engage in some form of self-injury. The practice is also linked to a higher risk for suicide, the study authors noted.

September 29, 2010 Posted by | Health News Items | , , | Leave a comment

   

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