Original Research

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

Eman Shorub, Abdel Nasser Omar, Heba ElShahawi, Dina Nauom, Tarek ElSahrawy, Yomna Elhawary
South African Journal of Psychiatry | Vol 28 | a1544 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajpsychiatry.v28i0.1544 | © 2022 Eman Shorub, Abdel Nasser Omar, Heba Elshahawi, Dina Naoum, Tarek Elsahrawy, Yomna Elhawary | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 12 April 2020 | Published: 30 May 2022

About the author(s)

Eman Shorub, Department of Neurology and Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, Ain Shams University, Cairo, Egypt
Abdel Nasser Omar, Department of Neurology and Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, Ain Shams University, Cairo, Egypt
Heba ElShahawi, Department of Neurology and Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, Ain Shams University, Cairo, Egypt
Dina Nauom, Al Mashfa Hospital, Cairo, Egypt
Tarek ElSahrawy, Department of Neurology and Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, Ain Shams University, Cairo, Egypt
Yomna Elhawary, Department of Neurology and Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, Ain Shams University, Cairo, Egypt


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Abstract

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.


Keywords

suicidality; borderline personality disorder; Egyptian; impulsivity; psychiatric comorbidity; risk factor; suicide attempts

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