Different measures of impulsivity in patients with anxiety disorders: a case control study

Psychiatry Res. 2012 May 30;197(3):231-6. doi: 10.1016/j.psychres.2011.09.020. Epub 2012 Feb 21.


The relationship between anxiety and impulsivity is controversial and not well explored. The present investigation aims to compare impulsivity, measured by different rating tools, in patients with anxiety disorders vs. healthy controls. Forty-seven subjects with different anxiety disorders and 45 matched controls underwent diagnostic and symptomatological evaluations by the Mini Neuropsychiatric Interview (M.I.N.I) Plus 5.0, Bech-Raphaelsen Depression and Mania Scale (BRDMS), State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI), Hypomania Check List (HCL-32) and the Clinical Global Impression (CGI); temperamental evaluations by the Questionnaire for the Affective and Anxious Temperament Evaluation of Memphis, Pisa, Paris and San Diego-Modified (TEMPS-M), the Separation Anxiety Sensitivity Index (SASI), the Interpersonal Sensitivity Symptoms Inventory (ISSI); and psychometric and a neurocognitive evaluations of impulsivity using the Barratt Impulsiveness Scale (BIS-11) and the Immediate and Delayed Memory Task (IMT-DMT). Subjects with anxiety disorders were more impulsive than the controls in all the explored measures, with higher scores in symptomatological and, temperamental scales. Patients with anxiety disorders but without a lifetime history of comorbid major mood episodes had greater trait and state impulsivity than controls. Further investigations are needed to assess the extent to which impulsivity might or might not be directly related to the anxiety disorder.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anxiety Disorders / complications
  • Anxiety Disorders / psychology*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Impulsive Behavior / complications
  • Impulsive Behavior / psychology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Personality Inventory / statistics & numerical data
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales / statistics & numerical data*
  • Temperament