Brief report: the Self Harm Questionnaire: a new tool designed to improve identification of self harm in adolescents

J Adolesc. 2013 Feb;36(1):221-5. doi: 10.1016/j.adolescence.2012.09.006. Epub 2012 Oct 6.


The Self Harm Questionnaire (SHQ) aiming at identification of self-harm in adolescents has been developed and piloted in a sample of 12-17 year olds (n = 100). The adolescents were recruited from both in- and outpatient psychiatric services. Concurrent validity of the SHQ was evaluated by comparing the SHQ results with recorded self harm in the entire clinical records, while the predictive value of the SHQ was assessed by reviewing the clinical records for further episodes of self harm after three months. 71% of the young people endorsed self harm on the SHQ. While 3% showed a false negative result on the SHQ, 20% of the participants disclosed self harm on the SHQ, which was not recorded in their clinical records. At three months follow up there was no statistically significant difference in either sensitivity .95, 95% CI [.72, 1.0] vs. .74, 95% CI [.49, .90] or specificity .35, 95% CI [.25, .46] vs. .51, 95% CI [.39, .62] between the SHQ and the entire clinical record in predicting future episodes of self harm. The SHQ is an important addition to the clinical repertoire designed to improve identification of self harm.

Publication types

  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Behavior
  • Child
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Self-Injurious Behavior / diagnosis*
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Surveys and Questionnaires*