Publication

Treatment of substance use disorder in forensic psychiatric patients: the role of impulsivity

De Haart, R. O., Gerlsma, C., Spreen, M. & Fielenbach, S., Jul-2017, In : GGzet Wetenschappelijk. 2017, 1, p. 29-42 14 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleProfessional

Substance use appears to have a negative influence on rates of criminal recidivism.
The foremost important goal of treatment of forensic psychiatric patients is to
protect society from criminal recidivism. Therefore, forensic psychiatric patients
need to change maladaptive behaviour, such as substance use. However, lack of
problem insight and high levels of impulsivity may impede forensic psychiatric
patients from behavioural change.
The aim of this study was to investigate whether impulsivity had a moderating effect
on the relationship between problem insight into substance use and actual substance
use. In order to compare levels of problem insight and impulsivity, 43 forensic
psychiatric patients with a substance use disorder (SUD) and a comorbid Axis I
and/or II disorder were divided in two groups based on whether or not they used
substances in the past six months. Levels of impulsivity were determined by scores
on the Barratt Impulsiveness Scale (BIS-11) and the amount of commission errors
on the Cued Go/ No Go task. Levels of problem insight into substance use were
measured by observations of patients’ behaviour by staff members and were scored
independently by the researcher based on examination of daily reports.
Participants who did use substances in the past six months appeared to have
significantly lower levels of problem insight into their substance use than
participants who did not use substances in the past six months. Both groups of
participants did not differ in levels of impulsivity, demonstrated by equal total
scores of the BIS-11 and the amount of commission errors on the Cued Go/ No Go
task. Lower levels of problem insight predicted substance use, but higher levels of
impulsivity did not. Hence, no moderating effect of impulsivity on the relationship
between problem insight into substance use and actual substance use was found.
Possible explanations, such as low to moderate levels of impulsivity within the
sample, together with limitations of this study and recommendation for future
research are being discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)29-42
Number of pages14
JournalGGzet Wetenschappelijk
Volume2017
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jul-2017

    Keywords

  • forensic psychiatric patients, substance use, SUD, problem insight, impulsivity, criminal offending

ID: 56809101