Introduction: Impulsivity has been shown to be a major variable in the etiology of suicide and aggression, but has not been researched as much in the schizophrenic population, which is characterized by serious suicide and aggression risks.
Methods: 68 male schizophrenia patients responded to a battery of measures including the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS), the impulsivity control scale (IS), the Suicide Risk Scale (SRS) and the Overt Aggression Scale.
Results: We divided our subjects into those who received scores above and below the median on the IS. The high-impulsivity group had higher present and past rates of suicidal ideation and showed a trend for more lifetime suicidal attempts than the low-impulsivity group. The impulsivity score correlated positively with the SRS score and with some of the scores of the PANSS (the positive symptoms score, the general psychopathology score and the total score). A multiple regression analysis revealed that an older age, higher levels of aggression, high impulsivity and an elevated score on the general psychopathology subscale of the PANSS contributed positively and significantly to the explained variance of the SRS.
Conclusions: Our study supports the contention that high impulsivity in schizophrenia patients is significant in the etiology of suicide in schizophrenia. However, the relationship between impulsivity and aggression in schizophrenia patients, and also the amelioration of impulsivity by pharmacological interventions, require further study.
Copyright (c) 2010 S. Karger AG, Basel.