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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 6  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 95-98

The clinical assessment of impulsivity

1 Faculty of Science, Medicine and Health, University of Wollongong; Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District, Wollongong, Australia, Wollongong, Australia
2 Faculty of Science, Medicine and Health, University of Wollongong, Wollongong, Australia

Correspondence Address:
Prof. Nagesh Brahmavar Pai
Level 8 Block C, The Wollongong Hospital, Wollongong 2500
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/amhs.amhs_28_18

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The term impulsivity is often used to describe behavior that is both spontaneous and detrimental. Impulsivity is multidimensional and derives from personality, general psychopathology as well as specific mental disorders. Thus, the construct of impulsivity is important as it is associated with numerous mental disorders as well as socially deviant behaviors ranging from behaviors targeted towards others such as aggression, to behaviors targeted toward oneself, for example, self-harm and suicide. As a clinical construct impulsivity is highly predictive of poor prognosis thus further emphasizing its clinical relevance. Therefore, the need exists for impulsivity to be clinically assessed and this assessment should take place at the same time as the assessment of risk. As risk and impulsivity are interrelated and interact. Although there are existing self-report rating scales for trait-based impulsivity, a dearth exists in regards to assessment of impulsivity in clinical practice that is focused and pragmatic. Thus, a pragmatic rubric to guide the individualized assessment of impulsivity in a clinical population is proposed. The quadrants espoused will assist both with the formulation of questions and categorization of responses to determine the most appropriate interventions for the client.

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