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Dialectical behaviour therapy for women with borderline personality disorder: 12-month, randomised clinical trial in the Netherlands

  • Roel Verheul (a1), Louise M. C. Van Den Bosch (a2), Maarten W. J. Koeter (a2), Maria A. J. De Ridder (a3), Theo Stijnen (a3) and Wim Van Den Brink (a4)...

Abstract

Background

Dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT) is widely considered to be a promising treatment for borderline personality disorder (BPD). However, the evidence for its efficacy published thus far should be regarded as preliminary.

Aims

To compare the effectiveness of DBT with treatment as usual for patients with BPD and to examine the impact of baseline severity on effectiveness.

Method

Fifty-eight women with BPD were randomly assigned to either 12 months of DBT or usual treatment in a randomised controlled study. Participants were recruited through clinical referrals from both addiction treatment and psychiatric services. Outcome measures included treatment retention and the course of suicidal, self-mutilating and self-damaging impulsive behaviours.

Results

Dialectical behaviour therapy resulted in better retention rates and greater reductions of self-mutilating and self-damaging impulsive behaviours compared with usual treatment, especially among those with a history of frequent self-mutilation.

Conclusions

Dialectical behaviour therapy is superior to usual treatment in reducing high-risk behaviours in patients with BPD.

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Copyright

Corresponding author

Dr Roel Verheul, Psychotherapeutisch Centrum De Viersprong, Post Box 7, 4660 AA Halsteren, The Netherlands. Tel: +310 164 632200; fax: +310 164 632220; e-mail: roel.verheul@deviersprong.net

Footnotes

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Declaration of interest

None. This work was supported by ZAOHealth Insurance Company, Amsterdam.

Footnotes

References

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Dialectical behaviour therapy for women with borderline personality disorder: 12-month, randomised clinical trial in the Netherlands

  • Roel Verheul (a1), Louise M. C. Van Den Bosch (a2), Maarten W. J. Koeter (a2), Maria A. J. De Ridder (a3), Theo Stijnen (a3) and Wim Van Den Brink (a4)...
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