Cost of treatment of deliberate self-harm. A study from Pakistan

Crisis. 2008;29(4):213-5. doi: 10.1027/0227-5910.29.4.213.


A retrospective review of 98 patients through medical and billing records, over a period of 12 months (January to December 2004), was conducted to evaluate the cost of treatment of patients presenting with deliberate self-harm (DSH) to a private tertiary care teaching hospital in Karachi, Pakistan. After initial treatment in the Emergency Department (ED), 34 patients were admitted to the medical wards for further treatment and 64 patients were either discharged or left against medical advice from ED. The mean cost for admitted and discharged patients was US $255 and US $55.60, respectively. One patient was intubated in the ED and shifted to intensive care unit. The cost of treatment of DSH is extremely high in a country like Pakistan, where the patients have to bear the hospital cost out of their own pocket. The most important determinant of cost was length of hospital stay, averaging 2.91 days.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Developing Countries*
  • Emergency Service, Hospital / economics
  • Financing, Personal / economics
  • Health Care Costs / statistics & numerical data*
  • Hospitals, University / economics
  • Humans
  • Length of Stay / economics
  • Pakistan
  • Patient Admission / economics
  • Patient Discharge / economics
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Self-Injurious Behavior / economics*
  • Self-Injurious Behavior / prevention & control
  • Self-Injurious Behavior / psychology
  • Suicide, Attempted / economics*
  • Suicide, Attempted / prevention & control
  • Suicide, Attempted / psychology