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Two types of mentalisation-based treatment (MBT) have been developed and empirically evaluated for borderline personality disorder (BPD): day hospital MBT (MBT-DH) and intensive out-patient MBT (MBT-IOP). No trial has yet compared their efficacy.
To compare the efficacy of MBT-DH and MBT-IOP 18 months after start of treatment. MBT-DH was hypothesised to be superior to MBT-IOP because of its higher treatment intensity.
In a multicentre randomised controlled trial (Nederlands Trial Register: NTR2292) conducted at three sites in the Netherlands, patients with BPD were randomly assigned to MBT-DH (n = 70) or MBT-IOP (n = 44). The primary outcome was symptom severity (Brief Symptom Inventory). Secondary outcome measures included borderline symptomatology, personality functioning, interpersonal functioning, quality of life and self-harm. Patients were assessed every 6 months from baseline to 18 months after start of treatment. Data were analysed using multilevel modelling based on intention-to-treat principles.
Significant improvements were found on all outcome measures, with moderate to very large effect sizes for both groups. MBT-DH was not superior to MBT-IOP on the primary outcome measure, but MBT-DH showed a clear tendency towards superiority on secondary outcomes.
Although MBT-DH was not superior to MBT-IOP on the primary outcome measure despite its greater treatment intensity, MBT-DH showed a tendency to be more effective on secondary outcomes, particularly in terms of relational functioning. Patients receiving MBT-DH and MBT-IOP, thus, seem to follow different trajectories of change, which may have important implications for clinical decision-making. Longer-term follow-up and cost-effectiveness considerations may ultimately determine the optimal intensity of specialised treatments such as MBT for patients with BPD.
Declaration of interest
P.L. and D.L.B. have been involved in the training and dissemination of MBT.
As depression has a recurrent course, relapse and recurrence prevention is essential.
In our randomised controlled trial (registered with the Nederlands trial register, identifier: NTR1907), we found that adding preventive cognitive therapy (PCT) to maintenance antidepressants (PCT+AD) yielded substantial protective effects versus antidepressants only in individuals with recurrent depression. Antidepressants were not superior to PCT while tapering antidepressants (PCT/−AD). To inform decision-makers on treatment allocation, we present the corresponding cost-effectiveness, cost-utility and budget impact.
Data were analysed (n = 289) using a societal perspective with 24-months of follow-up, with depression-free days and quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) as health outcomes. Incremental cost-effectiveness ratios were calculated and cost-effectiveness planes and cost-effectiveness acceptability curves were derived to provide information about cost-effectiveness. The budget impact was examined with a health economic simulation model.
Mean total costs over 24 months were €6814, €10 264 and €13 282 for AD+PCT, antidepressants only and PCT/−AD, respectively. Compared with antidepressants only, PCT+AD resulted in significant improvements in depression-free days but not QALYs. Health gains did not significantly favour antidepressants only versus PCT/−AD. High probabilities were found that PCT+AD versus antidepressants only and antidepressants only versus PCT/−AD were dominant with low willingness-to-pay thresholds. The budget impact analysis showed decreased societal costs for PCT+AD versus antidepressants only and for antidepressants only versus PCT/−AD.
Adding PCT to antidepressants is cost-effective over 24 months and PCT with guided tapering of antidepressants in long-term users might result in extra costs. Future studies examining costs and effects of antidepressants versus psychological interventions over a longer period may identify a break-even point where PCT/−AD will become cost-effective.
Declaration of interest
C.L.H.B. is co-editor of PLOS One and receives no honorarium for this role. She is also co-developer of the Dutch multidisciplinary clinical guideline for anxiety and depression, for which she receives no remuneration. She is a member of the scientific advisory board of the National Insure Institute, for which she receives an honorarium, although this role has no direct relation to this study. C.L.H.B. has presented keynote addresses at conferences, such as the European Psychiatry Association and the European Conference Association, for which she sometimes receives an honorarium. She has presented clinical training workshops, some including a fee. She receives royalties from her books and co-edited books and she developed preventive cognitive therapy on the basis of the cognitive model of A. T. Beck. W.A.N. has received grants from the Netherlands Organisation for Health Research and Development and the European Union and honoraria and speakers' fees from Lundbeck and Aristo Pharma, and has served as a consultant for Daleco Pharma.
Day hospital mentalization-based treatment (MBT-DH) is a promising treatment for borderline personality disorder (BPD) but its evidence base is still limited. This multi-site randomized trial compared the efficacy of MBT-DH delivered by a newly set-up service v. specialist treatment as usual (S-TAU) tailored to the individual needs of patients, and offered by a well-established treatment service.
Two mental healthcare institutes in The Netherlands participated in the study. Patients who met DSM-IV criteria for BPD and had a score of ⩾20 on the borderline personality disorder severity index (BPDSI) were randomly allocated to MBT-DH (N = 54) or S-TAU (N = 41). The primary outcome variable was the total score on the BPDSI. Secondary outcome variables included symptom severity, quality of life, and interpersonal functioning. Data were collected at baseline and every 6 months until 18-month follow-up, and were analyzed using multilevel analyses based on intention-to-treat principles.
Both treatments were associated with significant improvements in all outcome variables. MBT-DH was not superior to S-TAU on any outcome variable. MBT-DH was associated with higher acceptability in BPD patients compared v. S-TAU, reflected in significantly higher early drop-out rates in S-TAU (34%) v. MBT-DH (9%).
MBT-DH delivered by a newly set-up service is as effective as specialist TAU in The Netherlands in the treatment of BPD at 18-month follow-up. Further research is needed to investigate treatment outcomes in the longer term and the cost-effectiveness of these treatments.
Patients with a severe mental illness (SMI) are more likely to experience
victimisation than the general population.
To examine the prevalence of victimisation in people with SMI, and the
relationship between symptoms, treatment facility and indices of
substance use/misuse and perpetration, in comparison with the general
Victimisation was assessed among both randomly selected patients with SMI
(n = 216) and the general population
Compared with the general population, a high prevalence of violent
victimisation was found among the SMI group (22.7% v.
8.5%). Compared with out-patients and patients in a sheltered housing
facility, in-patients were most often victimised (violent crimes: 35.3%;
property crimes: 47.1%). Risk factors among the SMI group for violent
victimisation included young age and disorganisation, and risk factors
for property crimes included being an in-patient, disorganisation and
cannabis use. The SMI group were most often assaulted by someone they
Caregivers should be aware that patients with SMI are at risk of violent
victimisation. Interventions need to be developed to reduce this
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