Salud Mental

Validation into Spanish language of the Self-Harm Questionnaire for detection of self-harming in adolescents


José Fernando García Mijares
Gabriel de Jesús Alejo- Galarza
Samuel Rodolfo Mayorga Colunga
Luis Fernando Guerrero Herrera
José Luis Ramírez GarcíaLuna


Background. Self-injurious behaviour englobes conducts in which persons hurt or harm themselves. These conducts are an increasing phenomena among adolescents, and can be considered as predictors of death by suicide, making their opportune identification a necessity. The Self Harm Questionnaire allows the identification of thoughts and self-injurious conducts.

Objective. The objective of this study was to validate it into the Spanish language and to determine its diagnostic value for detecting self- injurious behaviour in Mexican adolescents under psychiatric follow up.

Method. The translation-retrotranslation procedure was used for the adaptation of the questionnaire into Spanish. A sample of 106, 11 to 17 year-old adolescents under follow up because of affective disorders or anxiety was selected for the application of the questionnaire. Internal consistence was evaluated through the Cronbach α reliability coefficient, and the Spearman correlation coefficient was determined through a test-retest after 3 months of the first administration of the probe. Afterwards, an evaluation of the clinical records was performed to assess the sensitivity and specificity of the test to detect self-injurious behaviour.

Results. The translated questionnaire possess a Cronbach α of 0.960, and a 3 month temporal stability of 0.9787. The sensitivity to detect self-injurious behaviour was 97.96%, and its specificity was 54.39%, compared to the clinical records.

Discussion and conclusion. This study results suggest that the translated questionnaire is a valid and reliable tool to detect self-injurious behaviour in Mexican adolescents. Rapid and opportune identification of this population of patients is crucial to avoid suicides. The use of this questionnaire can help identify these patients.

Self-injurious behaviour, suicide, diagnosis, validation studies


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