Objectives The objectives of this study were to determine the risk factors and life stressors that are prevalent among the acetaminophen deliberate self-poisoning (DSP) cases, to identify gender differences in the associated factors, and to determine the prevalence of psychiatric diagnosis and the patterns and types of psychotherapeutic interventions provided by psychiatrists. Methods This is a cross-sectional study, a retrospective descriptive case review of hospital admissions for acetaminophen DSP.
Results: There were 177 incidences of DSP during the study period. The mean age of the cases was 23.17.3 years and 84.1% of them were females. The risk factors were more significantly associated with males: chronic ethanol intake (p¼0.04), higher reported dose ingested (p¼0.01), higher latency time ( p¼0.04) and longer hospital stay (p¼0.03). The most commonly reported psychotherapeutic interventions used by psychiatrists were psychoeducation of the patient, followed by referral to a psychiatric clinic, family psychoeducation and psychotropic medication. Sertraline (SSRI) was the most frequently prescribed antidepressant.
Conclusions: Males have been shown to use more toxic doses and to delay treatment due to high latency time. Most DSP patients have different life stressors and psychiatric diagnoses that may be associated with varying degrees of suicidal intent. All patients presenting following DSP need to be carefully screened for psychiatric illness. Randomized controlled studies need to be conducted on DSP patients with psychiatric illness to determine which treatments are effective.