Objective: The authors' goal was to examine the prevalence of impulse control disorders in psychiatric inpatients.
Method: They used the Minnesota Impulsive Disorders Interview, a semistructured clinical interview assessing pathological gambling, trichotillomania, kleptomania, pyromania, intermittent explosive disorder, compulsive buying, and compulsive sexual behavior, to screen 204 consecutively admitted psychiatric inpatients. One hundred twelve of the inpatients were women (54.9%), and the mean age of the 204 inpatients was 40.5 years (SD=13.2, range=18-83). Patients whose screen was positive for an impulse control disorder were evaluated with structured clinical interviews.
Results: Sixty-three patients (30.9%) were diagnosed with at least one current impulse control disorder. The most common impulse control disorders were compulsive buying (N=19 [9.3%]), kleptomania (N=16 [7.8%]), and pathological gambling (N=14 [6.9%]). Patients with and without co-occurring impulse control disorders did not differ significantly from each other on demographic measures or number or type of psychiatric diagnoses other than impulse control disorders.
Conclusions: Impulse control disorders appear common among psychiatric inpatients. Additional, larger studies are needed to examine the prevalence of impulse control disorders in the general population and specific psychiatric groups.