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Psychotherapy for Intermittent Explosive Disorder

This study has been completed.
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
University of Chicago Identifier:
First received: April 24, 2008
Last updated: June 11, 2013
Last verified: December 2010
The goal of this study is to examine the effectiveness two forms of psychotherapy (also known as "talk therapy" ) for individuals with anger and aggression problems. Anger and aggression are everywhere - on the road, in the schools, at little league games, at home, and at work. In this study we are testing usefulness of anger management techniques in reducing symptoms of Intermittent Explosive Disorder (IED) and impulsive, aggressive behavior.

Condition Intervention Phase
Intermittent Explosive Disorder
Behavioral: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Behavioral: Supportive Psychotherapy
Phase 2

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Factorial Assignment
Masking: Single Blind (Participant)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: Individual Cognitive Behavioral Psychotherapy for Intermittent Explosive Disorder

Further study details as provided by University of Chicago:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • Overt Aggression Scale - Modified (OASM) [ Time Frame: Screen Visit, Pre-Therapy visit, Therapy sessions 2, 4, 6, 8, 12, Post-Therapy Visit, 3, 6, and 12-month Follow-Up Vists ]
  • State-Trait Anger Expression Inventory - Trait Anger Scale [STAXI-T] [ Time Frame: Pre-Therapy visit, Therapy session 7, Post-Therapy visit ]
  • Intermittent Explosive Disorder Interview [ Time Frame: Diagnostic Interview, Post-Therapy Visit (Modified), 3, 6, and 12-month Follow-Up vists (modified) ]

Secondary Outcome Measures:
  • Behavioral aggression measures (Taylor Aggression Paradigm [TAP], Point Subtraction Aggression Paradigm [PSAP]) [ Time Frame: Pre-Therapy Visit, Post-Therapy Visit, 3, 6, and 12-month Follow-Up visits ]

Enrollment: 60
Study Start Date: August 2006
Study Completion Date: December 2010
Primary Completion Date: December 2010 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Arms Assigned Interventions
Active Comparator: 2
Supportive Psychotherapy
Behavioral: Supportive Psychotherapy
Twelve weekly therapy sessions, approximately one hour each in duration
Active Comparator: 1
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (Cognitive Restructuring, Relaxation, and Coping Skills Training: CRCST)
Behavioral: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Twelve weekly therapy sessions, approximately one hour each in duration
Other Name: Cognitive Restructuring, Relaxation, and Coping Skills Training

Detailed Description:

Qualified participants will be randomly assigned to 12 1-hour sessions of either cognitive-behavioral therapy or supportive psychotherapy.

Participation in this study will require 16 visits over approximately 4 months with 3 follow-up sessions over a 12 month period. Therapy is provided at no cost and each study participant will receive a comprehensive psychological assessment. Two types of talk therapy are being offered in this study. One form of therapy focuses on thought and behaviors associated with anger and aggression. This type of therapy is known as cognitive behavioral therapy. The other type of therapy focuses on the individuals' feeling about their anger /aggression and the situations that lead to this anger. This is known as supportive therapy. The form of therapy you are given will be randomly determined (like by flipping of a coin).


Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years to 55 Years   (Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Have problems with anger, temper outbursts, being irritable, getting in trouble at work or at home because of impulsive/aggressive behavior.
  • Between the ages of 18 and 55.
  • Meet other eligibility requirements as outlined by the research protocol.

Exclusion Criteria:

  Contacts and Locations
Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the Contacts provided below. For general information, see Learn About Clinical Studies.

Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT00667212

United States, Illinois
University of Chicago
Chicago, Illinois, United States, 60637
Sponsors and Collaborators
University of Chicago
Principal Investigator: Michael McCloskey, PhD University of Chicago
  More Information

Responsible Party: University of Chicago Identifier: NCT00667212     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: 15143A
Study First Received: April 24, 2008
Last Updated: June 11, 2013

Keywords provided by University of Chicago:

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Disruptive, Impulse Control, and Conduct Disorders
Pathologic Processes
Mental Disorders processed this record on May 22, 2017