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Rev Colomb Psiquiatr. 2010 Mar 1;39(1):93-109.

Validity and Reliability of the Abbreviated Barratt Impulsiveness Scale in Spanish (BIS-15S).

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  • 1Physician. PhD in Neuroscience. General Psychiatry Resident, Departamento de Psiquiatría y Salud Mental, Facultad de Medicina, Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, Bogota, Colombia. Former Chair Neuroscience Department, Facultad de Medicina, Universidad de Los Andes, Bogota, Colombia.



This study determined the validity and reliability of a new, abbreviated version of the Spanish Barratt Impulsiveness Scale (BIS-15S) in Colombian subjects.


The BIS-15S was tested in non-clinical (n=283) and clinical (n=164) native Spanish-speakers. Intra-scale reliability was calculated using Cronbach's α, and test-retest reliability was measured with Pearson correlations. Psychometric properties were determined using standard statistics. A factor analysis was performed to determine BIS-15S factor structure.


447 subjects participated in the study. Clinical subjects were older and more educated compared to non-clinical subjects. Impulsivity scores were normally distributed in each group. BIS-15S total, motor, non-planning and attention scores were significantly lower in non-clinical vs. clinical subjects. Subjects with substance-related disorders had the highest BIS-15S total scores, followed by subjects with bipolar disorders and bulimia nervosa/binge eating. Internal consistency was 0.793 and test-retest reliability was 0.80. Factor analysis confirmed a three-factor structure (attention, motor, non-planning) accounting for 47.87% of the total variance in BIS-15S total scores.


The BIS-15S is a valid and reliable self-report measure of impulsivity in this population. Further research is needed to determine additional components of impulsivity not investigated by this measure.

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