Acta Scientific Medical Sciences (ASMS)(ISSN: 2582-0931)

Research Article Volume 7 Issue 6

Self-inflicted Injuries in The Forensic Pathology Department. Is there an Underlying Socio-psychopathological Terrain? (A Retrospective Study of 100 Cases)

Boumelik Mohamed Amine1*, Noun Mustapha2, Tahraoui Adel3, Belhadj Lahcène4 and Boublenza Abdellatif4

1Lecturer A in Forensic Medicine, Faculty of Medicine TALEB MORAD, Djillali LIABES University, Algeria
2Assistant Professor of Forensic Medicine, Faculty of Medicine TALEB MORAD, Djillali LIABES University, Algeria
3Assistant Master in Oto Rhino Laryngology, Faculty of Medicine TALEB MORAD, Djillali LIABES University, Algeria
4Professor of Forensic Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, TALEB MORAD, Djillali LIABES University, Algeria

*Corresponding Author: Boumelik Mohamed Amine, Lecturer A in Forensic Medicine, Faculty of Medicine TALEB MORAD, Djillali LIABES University, Algeria.

Received: April 24, 2023; Published: May 04, 2023


Introduction: The complexity of self-inflicted injury behaviour hinders understanding of this phenomenon and the person's motive. Impulsivity is the most described risk factor (Ferraz., et al. 2009). Other socio-psychological factors are also described: anxio-depressive disorders, history of physical or sexual abuse, parental relationship disorders, unemployment... etc. For some authors, this phenomenon represents a suicidal risk factor. In this perspective, ask whether these people practicing this act of self-harm present an associated psychopathological terrain. On the other hand, to ask whether this act constitutes a pathological element whose suicidal act is disguised. The question is then to assess the intentionality of these people with stigmata of self-harm in the forensic service and to look for possible social or psychological factors that can be contributed.

We will try to show that this act of self-harm is practiced to simulate aggression (a thoughtful act used as physical evidence to prosecute an alleged aggressor), or uncontrolled occurring against any thoughtful will.

Material and Method: We conducted a retrospective study analyzing the questionnaires of people with self-inflicted injuries at the medico-judicial consultation of the University Hospital of Sidi Bel Abbés (Algeria). This study ran from 01.03.2017 to 28.02.2019. Persons under the age of 18 and those with an inability to cooperate with the questionnaire were eliminated.

Impulsivity was measured by La Barratt Impulsiveness Scale version 11 (BIS-11; Patton., et al. 1995). We translated and validated it in a version adapted to the cultural context and lifestyle of the target population. The suicidal potential was assessed by the Risk-Emergency-Dangerousness (RUD) tool.

Obtaining the participant's informed consent, following his or her information; Its collaboration is integrated within the framework of an anonymous, voluntary research work and that there is no benefit, in particular, on legal proceedings.

Data analysis was performed using IBM SPSS 23 (Statistical Package for the Social Sciences) software.

Results: We received 6638 people, 143 people (02%) with injuries with the self-inflicted characteristics. 38 cases not having the inclusion criteria and 05 cases were randomly eliminated to have the figure of 100. There were 67 males for 33 females (M/F sex ratio = 02). The maximum age was 69. The median was 29 years. People had confessed to self-harm (66%) and (34%) denied it.

The level of impulsivity was: normal (67%), high (12%) and low (21%). The distribution according to socio-psychological risk factors recovered: history of abuse (11%), family separation/abandonment (20%), lack of family cohesion (28%), economic difficulty (19%), depression (05%), psychosis (01%), substance abuse (02%), alcohol (05%). The risk of suicide was: low (92%), medium (07%) and high (01%).

Conclusion: The presence of an underlying socio-psychopathological terrain does not represent the majority of cases in a forensic setting. Simulation was the fundamental issue, the motive of which was: to take revenge on a person or institution, to simulate defensive injuries or cover up their own attacks against another individual, to have compassion and attention. However, faced with such a situation it is necessary to resort to a rigorous psychiatric expertise.


Keywords: Self-inflicted Injuries; Impulsiveness; Socio-psychopathological Factors; Suicidal Risk; Simulation


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Citation: Boumelik Mohamed Amine., et al. “Self-inflicted Injuries in The Forensic Pathology Department. Is there an Underlying Socio-psychopathological Terrain? (A Retrospective Study of 100 Cases)”.Acta Scientific Medical Sciences 7.6 (2023): 05-13.


Copyright: © 2023 Boumelik Mohamed Amine., et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


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