Nurses’ attitudes towards self-harm: a literature review

P. Karman, I.E. Poslawsky, Nienke Kool en B.K.G. (Berno) van Meijel
Soort object
Self-harm is a growing health problem. Nurses in a variety of healthcare settings play a central role in the care of people who self-harm. Their professional attitudes towards these people are essential for high-quality care. This review aims to develop insight into nurses’ attitudes towards self-harm as they exist in contemporary nursing practice. A literature search was conducted in four databases, and a total of 15 relevant articles were found. This review indicates that negative attitudes towards self-harm are common among nurses. The influence of nurses’ age, gender and work experience remains unclear. Healthcare setting and qualification level appear to be influencing factors. Education can have a positive influence on nurses’ attitudes towards self-harm, especially when it includes reflective and interactive components. It is demonstrated in this review that a major change is needed regarding nurses’ attitudes. To realize this change, nurses need to be trained and educated adequately concerning self-harm. They need time and resources to build a therapeutic relationship with people who harm themselves so they can offer high-quality care for this vulnerable group.