Impulse control disorders in elderly patients
Tamam L, Bican M, Keskin N
Cukurova University Faculty of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry, Adana, Turkey [email protected]
Objective: There is no epidemiological study on the prevalence of impulse control disorders (ICDs) in the elderly population. The studies on ICDs in elderly patients are limited and some of them are case reports about pathological gambling and kleptomania. The comorbidity of other psychiatric disorders makes diagnosis difficult and has negative effects on both treatment and the prognosis of ICDs. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of ICDs among elderly patients and to evaluate the related sociodemographic and clinical features.
Method: A total of 76 patients aged 60 and over who have been referred to our outpatient clinics in a one-year period were included in the study. A demographic data form was completed. The Structured Clinical Interview for Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fourth edition (DSM-IV) was used to determine axis I psychiatric disorders. The prevalence of ICDs was investigated by using the modified version of the Minnesota Impulse Disorders Interview (MIDI). Impulsivity was measured with the Barratt Impulsiveness Scale Version 11 (BIS-11). The Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) test was performed to evaluate the cognitive status of patients and to exclude the diagnosis of dementia. In addition, all patients completed Symptom Check List-90 (SCL-90).
Results: The prevalence rate of at least one comorbid ICD in our sample was 17%. When patients with a diagnosis of ICDs not otherwise specified (ICD-NOS) were included, the prevalence rate increased to 22.4%. The most common ICD was intermittent explosive disorder (15.8%), followed by pathological gambling (9.2%). The majority of the sample was men (54%), married (80%), had a high school education (51%), and mid-level socioeconomic status (79%). The only statistically significant difference between the sociodemographic characteristics of patients with or without ICDs was gender. The lifetime prevalence of ICDs was 34.1% in men and 8.6% in women. The prevalence of childhood conduct disorder was significantly higher in the group with ICD. There was no statistically significant difference in the number of suicide attempts, history of physical illness and family history of psychiatric disorders between the groups with or without ICDs. Comorbidity of alcohol/substance abuse was found to be 17.6% in patients with ICD whereas no cases were found in the group without ICD.
Conclusions: The result of this study has shown that approximately one fifth of patients over 60 years had at least one lifetime ICD comorbidity. The prevalence rates of ICDs seem to decrease with aging. The male gender and childhood conduct disorder are related with higher prevalence rates of ICDs in elderly.
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