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Impulsivity and psychiatric comorbidity as risk factors for suicide attempts in borderline personality disorder

Eman Shorub
Abdel Nasser Omar
Heba Elshahawi
Dina Naoum
Tarek Elsahrawy
Yomna Elhawary


Background: Addressing the risk of suicidality in borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a crucial issue. The notion that impulsive individuals are more likely to plan for suicide attempts is important for many reasons in both theoretical and clinical decision-making.
Aim: The aim of this study was to investigate potential risks of suicidality in BPD and to correlate it to impulsivity.
Setting: The study was conducted at the Institute of Psychiatry, Ain Shams University and Al Mashfa Private Hospital.
Methods: Ninety-one participants were included in the study: 30 patients were diagnosed as BPD without axis I comorbidities, 31 BPD patients had psychiatric comorbidities and 30 healthy subjects were assessed by using Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV Axis I Disorders (SCID-I), Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV Axis II Disorders (SCID-II), Suicide Behavior Questionnaire-Revised (SBQ-R), the Arabic version of Barratt’s Impulsiveness
Scale-11 (BIS-11) and Global Assessment of Functioning scale.
Results: There was a significant difference in suicidality using the SBQ-R between the healthy controls and BPDs without and with comorbidities. Healthy controls showed low suicidality in only 3.3%, while it was higher in both groups of BPD. The total score of BIS was as follows: 62.5 (±10.1 SD) in group A, 79.4 (±12 SD) in group B and 80.3 (±12.5 SD) in group C, which denote mild, moderate and moderate-to-severe degree of impulsivity in group A, B and C, respectively. Suicidality was positively correlated with (AI item: lack of span Attention in Attentional Facet) (r = 0.489, p = 0.006), (PI item: lack of self-control in planning facet) (r = 0.401, p = 0.028), as well as (MII item: lack perseverance in holding off impulsive acts in motor facet) (r = 0.471, p = 0.009).
Conclusion: Proper assessment of associated psychiatric comorbidities and impulsivity among BPD patients will help preventing of future suicidal attempts.

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eISSN: 2078-6786
print ISSN: 1608-9685