Self-injurious behavior in people with intellectual disabilities and co-occurring psychopathology using the Self-Harm Scale: A pilot study

K.J.H.M. van den Boogaard, H.L.I. Nijman, T. Palmstierna, P.J.M.C. Embregts

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Abstract

Self-injurious behavior (SIB) is one of the most detrimental behaviors for the person showing it, as well as for their environment. Nevertheless, structured clinical assessments of SIB are scarce. Staff completed a Self-Harm Scale (SHS) every time they witnessed SIB in clients with an intellectual disability (ID) and co-occurring psychopathology (N = 33). Descriptive statistics were conducted to explore the nature of the incidents of SIB and the characteristics of the people involved in the incidents. In 41 weeks, 104 SIB incidents were reported for 8 out of 33 clients (24%). Incidents were most prevalent on Mondays (23%). As far as the methods of SIB concerned, cutting was the most used method (63%). Clients who showed SIB differed significantly from clients who did not on gender, having a personality disorder and communicative abilities. This study was one of the few that used an incident-based record form to report SIB by direct observation. It is hoped that the SHS helps to gain more information about SIB, to improve individualized interventions. Further research is necessary to determine the psychometric properties and clinical utility of the scale.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)707-722
JournalJournal of Developmental and Physical Disabilities
Volume30
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018

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Keywords

  • ADULTS
  • AGGRESSIVE-BEHAVIOR
  • BORDERLINE PERSONALITY-DISORDER
  • CHALLENGING BEHAVIORS
  • CHILDREN
  • INVENTORY
  • Intellectual disability
  • MENTAL-RETARDATION
  • MUTILATION
  • PERSISTENCE
  • PREVALENCE
  • Psychopathology
  • Self-Harm Scale
  • Self-injurious behavior
  • Structured clinical assessment

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