Suicidal ideation, hopelessness, and affective temperament in patients with blepharospasm

Isabella Berardelli, Gina Ferrazzano, Daniele Belvisi, Viola Baione, Giovanni Fabbrini, Marco Innamorati, Alfredo Berardelli, Maurizio Pompili

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between suicidal ideation and neurological, psychological, and psychiatric features in patients with blepharospasm (BSP).

METHODS: We enrolled 70 BSP patients and 80 control subjects. All participants underwent a psychiatric and psychometric evaluation: Structured Clinical Interview, Clinical Global Impression, Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale, Hamilton Depression Rating Scale, Columbia-Suicide Severity Rating Scale, Beck Hopelessness Scale, Temperament Evaluation of Memphis, Pisa, San Diego Auto-questionnaire. BSP severity was assessed using the Blepharospasm Severity Rating Scale.

RESULTS: Suicidal ideation was reported in 18% of BSP patients and 6% had current suicidal ideation. 83% of BSP patients had severe hopelessness. BSP patients presented an increased sense of hopelessness (OR= 1.39, 95% CI = 1.13/1.70) and a pronounced depressive temperament (OR= 1.36, 95% CI = 1.12/1.65). Suicidal ideation in BSP patients correlated with psychiatric disorders (OR = 3.96, 95% CI = 1.23/12.74) and higher scores on the HAM-A (OR = 1.11, 95% CI = 1.02/1.20), HAM-D (OR = 1.18, 95% CI = 1.05/1.32), CGI (OR = 1.85, 95% CI = 1.18/2.90), TEMPS-A Cyclothymia (OR = 1.16, 95% CI = 1.02/1.31).

CONCLUSION: Our findings suggest the presence of suicidal ideation and severe hopelessness in BSP patients. KEY POINTS BSP patients as compared to controls more frequently reported the presence of a psychiatric disorder and more severe anxiety and depressive symptoms, psychopathology on the CGI, suicidal ideation, and hopelessness. BSP patients with prevalent cyclothymic temperament had more severe suicidal ideation, suggesting an increased suicide risk most likely due to difficulties in psychological adaptation to changing environments, including the neurological disease. A psychiatric assessment is recommended for patients with this condition, with possible referral to a suicide prevention centre.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-6
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Psychiatry in Clinical Practice
Publication statusPublished - 2021


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