Self-injurious behavior (SIB) is a highly problematic and damaging behavior with profound implications for a person's quality of life. Despite numerous reports documenting changes in self-injury, it is not well-known how these changes relate to systematic improvements in quality of life. We surveyed 41 journals from 1978 to 1996 to identify use of quality of life outcome measures following self-injury treatment. A sample of 138 research articles involving 436 subjects with self-injury was reviewed. Forty articles (29%) were found that contained some quality of life measure. Very little detailed information was available concerning the specific nature of change in life-style based on immediate changes in SIB. This lack of information and its possible implications are discussed.
This manuscript was supported in part by Public Health Service Grant No. R29 HD35682 from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.