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Although functional impairment typically improves during evidence-based psychotherapies (EBPs) for borderline personality disorder (BPD), functional levels often remain suboptimal after treatment. The present pilot study evaluated whether and how integrating PTSD treatment into an EBP for BPD would improve functional outcomes. Participants were 26 women with BPD, PTSD, and recent suicidal and/or self-injurious behavior who were randomized to receive one year of Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) or DBT with the DBT Prolonged Exposure (DBT PE) protocol for PTSD. Five domains of functioning were assessed at 4-month intervals during treatment and at 3-months post-treatment. DBT + DBT PE was superior to DBT in improving global social adjustment, health-related quality of life, and achieving good global functioning, but not interpersonal problems or quality of life. Results of time-lagged mixed effects models indicated that, across both treatments, reductions in PTSD severity significantly predicted subsequent improvement in global social adjustment, global functioning, and health-related quality of life, whereas reductions in post-traumatic cognitions significantly predicted later improvement in all functional outcomes except global social adjustment. These findings provide preliminary evidence supporting the role of change in PTSD severity and trauma-related cognitions as active mechanisms in improving functional outcomes among individuals with BPD and PTSD.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Behaviour research and therapy
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A personality disorder marked by a pattern of instability of interpersonal relationships, self-image, and affects, and marked impulsivity beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts. (DSM-IV)
A dissociative disorder in which the individual adopts two or more distinct personalities. Each personality is a fully integrated and complex unit with memories, behavior patterns and social friendships. Transition from one personality to another is sudden.
A personality disorder whose essential feature is a pervasive pattern of disregard for, and violation of, the rights of others that begins in childhood or early adolescence and continues into adulthood. The individual must be at least age 18 and must have a history of some symptoms of CONDUCT DISORDER before age 15. (From DSM-IV, 1994)
A personality disorder characterized by the avoidance of accepting deserved blame and an unwarranted view of others as malevolent. The latter is expressed as suspiciousness, hypersensitivity, and mistrust.
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