Effectiveness of the Iconic Therapy for Borderline Personality Disorder Symptoms

2017-01-06 01:53:21 | BioPortfolio


Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is the most prevalent personality disorder in young community population whose most severe complication is suicide. Pharmacotherapy should not be used as the primary treatment for BPD as the benefits are unclear. Psychotherapy is the main treatment for people with BPD and the current recommendation is adapting available comprehensive treatments to develop easier and briefer therapies that are also effective. Iconic Therapy is an innovative option whose good clinical results should be validated on a clinical trial.


Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) in the early adulthood is an increasing diagnosis among general population. First symptoms detection and early intervention might help prevent its aggravation and further BPD diagnosis. Iconic Therapy is an innovative manual-driven psychotherapy to specifically and intensively treat BPD symptoms. Preliminary clinical results are good. The aim of the present study is to assess the effectiveness of the Iconic Therapy in comparison to a support structured therapy in an ecological setting (Spanish public specialized mental health care). The study is planned as a randomized controlled prospective trial that will randomize 60 young people (15 to 25 years old) with suicidal ideation/self-injuring behaviour and borderline personality traits. Participants will be randomly assigned to one of the two groups: Iconic Therapy or support structured therapy on a 1:1 basis. Both the Iconic Therapy and the support therapy programs consist of 10-12 weekly sessions delivered by two trained psychologists for about 8-12 outpatients on group format. The primary outcome measure is the change of symptoms severity assessed by the Borderline Personality Disorder List (BSL-23). Secondary outcomes include suicidal ideation and behavior, non-suicidal self-injures maladjustment to the daily life and economic evaluation for health care. Assessments will be performed at baseline after the intervention 6 and 12 months of follow-up. It is hypothesized that those attending the Iconic Therapy group will show a permanently reduction of the severity of symptoms as compared with those attending the structured support group. Data will be analyzed using generalized estimating equations (GEE) models.

Study Design

Allocation: Randomized, Endpoint Classification: Efficacy Study, Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment, Masking: Double Blind (Subject, Outcomes Assessor), Primary Purpose: Health Services Research


Personality Disorder, Borderline


Emotional regulation


Silvia E. Hurtado-Santiago




University of Malaga

Results (where available)

View Results


Published on BioPortfolio: 2017-01-06T01:53:21-0500

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