Clinical profiles as a function of level and type of impulsivity in a sample group of at-risk and pathological gamblers seeking treatment

Abstract

Level and type of impulsivity are essential variables to be taken into consideration during the initial evaluation of a pathological gambler. The aim of this study was to measure the score for 4 impulsivity-related traits (Urgency, (lack of) Premeditation, (lack of) Perseverance and Sensation seeking) in a sample group of at-risk and pathological gamblers, and to highlight any links with certain elements of clinical data. The UPPS Impulsive Behaviour Scale was administered to 84 problem gamblers seeking treatment. The severity of gambling disorders was evaluated using the diagnostic criteria of the DSM-IV. Psychiatric and addictive comorbidities were also explored. The results indicated that the score for the Urgency facet had a positive correlation with the severity of gambling disorders. It appeared that participants displayed different clinical profiles according to the level and type of impulsivity. Several of the UPPS scales were identified as risk factors for mood disorders, risk of suicide, alcohol use disorders, and Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). The results confirm both the complexity of the multi-dimensional concept of impulsivity and the reason why the UPPS is of interest for a more in-depth study of the subject.

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