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The Barriers and Facilitators to the Reporting and Recording of Self-harm in Young People aged 18 and under: A Systematic Review

Waller, Gillian, Newbury-Birch, Dorothy, Simpson, Diane, Armstrong, Emma, James, Becky, Chapman, Lucy, Fahrin, Ahmed and Ferguson, Jennifer (2023) The Barriers and Facilitators to the Reporting and Recording of Self-harm in Young People aged 18 and under: A Systematic Review. BMC Public Health, 23 (158). pp. 1-21. ISSN 1471-2458

Item Type: Article


Background and Aims
This systematic review sought to identify, explain and interpret the prominent or recurring themes relating to the barriers and facilitators of reporting and recording of self-harm in young people across different settings such as the healthcare setting, schools and the criminal justice setting.

A search strategy was developed to ensure all relevant literature around the reporting and recording of self-harm in young people was obtained. Literature searches were conducted in six databases and a grey literature search of policy documents and relevant material was also conducted. Due to the range of available literature, both quantitative and qualitative methodologies were considered for inclusion.

Following the completion of the literature searches and sifting, nineteen papers were eligible for inclusion. Facilitators to reporting self-harm across the different settings were found to be recognising self-harm behaviours, using passive screening, training and experience, positive communication, and safe, private information sharing. Barriers to reporting self-harm included confidentiality concerns, negative perceptions of young people, communication difficulties, stigma, staff lacking knowledge around self-harm, and a lack of time, money and resources.

Whilst facilitators to recording self-harm across the different settings included being open to discussing what is recorded, services working together and co-ordinated help. Barriers to recording self-harm were mainly around stigma, the information being recorded and the ability of staff being able to do so, and their length of professional experience.

Following the review of the current evidence, it was apparent that there was still progress to be made to improve the reporting and recording of self-harm in young people, across the different settings. Future work should concentrate on better understanding the facilitators, whilst aiming to ameliorate the barriers.

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Depositing User: Diane Simpson


Item ID: 15646
Identification Number:
ISSN: 1471-2458
Official URL:

Users with ORCIDS

ORCID for Gillian Waller: ORCID iD
ORCID for Dorothy Newbury-Birch: ORCID iD
ORCID for Diane Simpson: ORCID iD
ORCID for Jennifer Ferguson: ORCID iD

Catalogue record

Date Deposited: 20 Feb 2023 11:53
Last Modified: 20 Mar 2023 11:15


Author: Gillian Waller ORCID iD
Author: Dorothy Newbury-Birch ORCID iD
Author: Diane Simpson ORCID iD
Author: Jennifer Ferguson ORCID iD
Author: Emma Armstrong
Author: Becky James
Author: Lucy Chapman
Author: Ahmed Fahrin

University Divisions

Faculty of Education and Society > School of Social Sciences


Social Sciences > Health and Social Care
Social Sciences > Working with Young People

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