Examining individual and psychosocial determinants of self-harm and suicidality in older adults: improving risk assessment and management (SHOAR)

What is SHOAR?

SHOAR is a two-year study led by Dr Isabela Troya, funded by a Government of Ireland Postdoctoral Fellowship which commenced in May 2022. Self-harm, the act of harming oneself, is an increasing societal concern worldwide. Annually in Ireland, more than 400 people die by suicide and a further 12,500 present to hospital following self-harm, of which approximately 15% are older adults (aged >60). Worldwide, the age group that is most likely to die by suicide is represented by older adults, in particular men. In Ireland, there is limited research examining self-harm and suicide in older adults. Specifically, the profile of older adults who self-harm is not well known, or what factors affect older people who self-harm.

Project Aims

• To examine individual and psychosocial determinants of self-harm in older adults to improve risk assessment and management of self-harm in later life.

• To gain a better understanding of self-harm in older adults, and to inform policy, patients, clinicians, and the Irish healthcare system, this study will examine the factors that lead to older adults hurting themselves. This is a multi-method study, using two large national databases (National Self-Harm Registry Ireland from the National Suicide Research Foundation and The Irish Longitudinal Study of Ageing from Trinity College Dublin) combined with primary research (interviewing health practitioners who support older adults).

Personnel Involved

Principal Investigator: Dr Isabela Troya

Members of the Steering Group

-NSRF: Prof Ella Arensman, Dr Paul Corcoran, Dr Eve Griffin

-External: Dr Robert Briggs and Dr Mark Ward (Trinity College Dublin), Prof Eugene Cassidy and Dr Caoimhe Ni Lonergan (Cork University Hospital), Sally Ann Lovejoy and Prof Vincent Russell (National Clinical Programme for Self-Harm, HSE), Dr James O’Mahony (School of Nursing, UCC), Dr Faraz Mughal (Keele University).

Recent Publications

Coming soon