Impulsivity and borderline personality as risk factors for suicide attempts among opioid-dependent individuals

Elizabeth Maloney, Louisa Degenhardt, Shane Darke, Elliot C. Nelson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations

Abstract

The study aimed to examine the association of impulsivity and screening positively for borderline personality disorder (BPD+) as risk factors for suicide attempts among opioid-dependent individuals. The study used a case-control design with 775 opioid-dependent cases and 306 non-opioid-dependent controls. Cases were more likely than controls to screen BPD+ and to be classed as highly impulsive. Significant risk for lifetime suicide attempt was associated with screening BPD+ and also with high impulsivity. A number of risk factors were identified for suicide attempts among those with either high impulsivity or among those who screened BPD+: being female, a diagnosis of an anxiety disorder and a diagnosis of illicit drug dependence (other than opioid dependence). Opioid dependence was not a unique risk factor for suicide attempts among either the BPD+ group or the high impulsivity group. Although opioid dependence was not a unique risk factor for suicide attempts among those who screened BPD+, cases presented with multiple risk factors at substantially higher rates than controls. This research also highlights the importance of assessing impulsivity, in both clinical settings and research, particularly among those with a history of suicidal behaviour.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)16-21
Number of pages6
JournalPsychiatry Research
Volume169
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 30 2009

Keywords

  • Attempted suicide
  • Borderline personality disorder
  • Opioid dependence
  • Substance use disorder

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