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Impulsion Trait is a Predictor for Suicidal Behavior

Highlighted among the latest practice signposts in Annotations


An impulsivity trait among people at risk of suicidal thoughts and behaviors is pinpointed among the latest practice signposts highlighted by ACLP members on the Academy’s website.

Constructs derived from psychometric testing for impulsivity include:

  • Deficits in conscientiousness (defined as a lack of perseverance and a lack of premeditation, or, the tendency to act without forethought).
  • Sensation-seeking.
  • Urgency.

Researchers set out to examine whether one or more of these factors is singularly associated with suicidal behaviour, within 24 hours of a suicide attempt, among patients admitted to a Level One trauma center.

Their findings suggest that, among other known risk factors for future self-harm, assessing a patient’s propensity for acting without forethought provides both an added perspective on risk and a potential target for intervention, i.e., looking for opportunities to strengthen problem-solving skills that teach individuals to engage in thinking before acting.

This practice signpost is among the latest findings brought to ACLP members’ attention each quarter by the Academy’s Guidelines and Evidence-based Medicine Subcommittee, alongside other subspecialty experts, who post commentary on recent journal articles.

The latest annotation topics and their contributors are:

Kemuel Philbrick, MD, FACLP

Elie Isenberg-Grzeda, MD
Carlos Fernandez-Robles, MD

Critical Care Medicine
Joseph Bienvenu, MD, PhD

HIV Psychiatry
John Grimaldi, MD
Mary Ann Cohen, MD, FACLP

Sahil Munjal, MD

Transplant Psychiatry
Paula Zimbrean, MD, FACLP

Franklin King IV, MD
Nicholas Kontos, MD

If you would like to contribute, contact subcommittee chairs, Paula Zimbrean, MD, FACLP, at or Lydia Chwastiak, MD, MPH, FACLP, at


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