Abstract BackgroundPast self-harming behavior is one of the most significant predictors of future suicide. Each year in Ireland there are approximately 11,000 presentations of self-harm to emergency departments (EDs) across the country.Study ObjectivesThis study examines predictors of perceived personal effectiveness in dealing with self-harming patients as reported by ED staff. The predictors are derived from past research and are influenced by Bandura's Social Cognitive Theory.MethodOne hundred twenty-five ED medical staff (28 doctors and 97 nurses) from five EDs in the West and South of Ireland completed a questionnaire. Predictor variables included in the design, and informed by past research, included knowledge of self-harm and suicidal behavior and confidence in dealing with incidents of self-harm.ResultsStandard multiple regression suggested a statistically significant model fit between the two predictors and the criterion variable, accounting for 24% of total variance. Knowledge and Confidence were significant contributors to perceived personal effectiveness in dealing with self-harming patients.ConclusionsLittle is known regarding specific factors that influence perceived effectiveness in dealing with self-harming patients in the ED setting. These findings have implications for psycho-education and training content for staff. The findings suggest that increasing knowledge of self-harm and confidence in dealing with self-harming patients can lead to more positive perceived personal effectiveness in responding to clients' needs.