Assessing personal financial management in patients with bipolar disorder and its relation to impulsivity and response inhibition
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INTRODUCTION: Impulsivity and risk-taking behaviours are reported in bipolar disorder (BD). We examined whether financial management skills are related to impulsivity in patients with BD. METHODS: We assessed financial management skills using the Executive Personal Finance Scale (EPFS), impulsivity using the Barratt Impulsiveness Scale (BIS) and response inhibition using an emotional go/no-go task in bipolar individuals (N = 21) and healthy controls (HC; N = 23). RESULTS: Patients had fewer financial management skills and higher levels of impulsivity than HC. In patients and controls, increased impulsivity was associated with poorer personal financial management. Patients and HC performed equally on the emotional go/no-go task. Higher BIS scores were associated with faster reaction times in HC. In patients, however, higher BIS scores were associated with slower reaction times, possibly indicating compensatory cognitive strategies to counter increased impulsivity. CONCLUSIONS: Patients with BD may have reduced abilities to manage personal finances, when compared against healthy participants. Difficulty with personal finance management may arise in part as a result of increased levels of impulsivity. Patients may learn to compensate for increased impulsivity by modulating response times in our experimental situations although whether such compensatory strategies generalize to real-world situations is unknown.
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