Letters Managing self harm

Is a clinician’s “gut feeling” enough to identify self harm?

BMJ 2012; 344 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.e142 (Published 10 January 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;344:e142
  1. Charlotte L O Ellis, foundation year 2 doctor1
  1. 1Queen’s Hospital, Burton on Trent DE13 0RB, UK
  1. charlotte.ellis2{at}nhs.net

The guidelines summary recommends against using risk assessment tools to predict future self harm or suicide.1 Although evidence suggests these scales are poor predictors of risk,1 can we simply rely on the clinician’s subjective judgment and “gut feeling”? Many doctors are experts at this—through years of experience—but no one is psychic; …

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