• Bibtex: @carter2013
  • Bibliography: Carter, G. L., Clover, K., Whyte, I. M., Dawson, A. H., & D’Este, C. (2013). Postcards from the EDge: 5-year outcomes of a randomised controlled trial for hospital-treated self-poisoning. The British Journal of Psychiatry, 202(5), 372–380. https://doi.org/10.1192/bjp.bp.112.112664

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My notes

  • Long-term follow-up for carter2005
  • No between-group diff in repeat self-poisoning
    • postcards 24.9% (20.6 to 29.5)
    • control group 27.2% (22.8 to 31.8)
  • Halving of bed days (IRR = 0.54).


BackgroundRepetition of hospital-treated self-poisoning and admission to psychiatric hospital are both common in individuals who self-poison.AimsTo evaluate efficacy of postcard intervention after 5 years.MethodA randomised controlled trial of individuals who have self-poisoned: postcard intervention (eight in 12 months) plus treatment as usual v. treatment as usual. Our primary outcomes were self-poisoning admissions and psychiatric admissions (proportions and event rates).ResultsThere was no difference between groups for any repeat-episode self-poisoning admission (intervention group: 24.9%, 95% CI 20.6-29.5; control group: 27.2%, 95% CI 22.8-31.8) but there was a significant reduction in event rates (incidence risk ratio (IRR)=0.54, 95% CI 0.37-0.81), saving 306 bed days. There was no difference for any psychiatric admission (intervention group: 38.1%, 95% CI 33.1-43.2; control group: 35.5%, 95% CI 30.8-40.5) but there was a significant reduction in event rates (IRR=0.66, 95% CI 0.47-0.91), saving 2565 bed days.ConclusionsA postcard intervention halved self-poisoning events and reduced psychiatric admissions by a third after 5 years. Substantial savings occurred in general hospital and psychiatric hospital bed days. PDF: carter_2013_postcards_from_the_edge_-_5-year_outcomes_of_a_randomised_controlled_trial_for.pdf