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Numerous theories posit different core features to borderline personality disorder (BPD). Recent advances in network analysis provide a method of examining the relative centrality of BPD symptoms, as well as examine the replicability of findings across samples. Additionally, despite the increase in research supporting the validity of BPD in adolescents, clinicians are reluctant to diagnose BPD in adolescents. Establishing the replicability of the syndrome across adolescents and adults informs clinical practice and research. This study examined the stability of BPD symptom networks and centrality of symptoms across samples varying in age and clinical characteristics.
Cross-sectional analyses of BPD symptoms from semi-structured diagnostic interviews from the Collaborative Longitudinal Study of Personality Disorders (CLPS), the Methods to Improve Diagnostic Assessment and Service (MIDAS) study, and an adolescent clinical sample. Network attributes, including edge (partial association) strength and node (symptom) expected influence, were compared.
The three networks were largely similar and strongly correlated. Affective instability and identity disturbance emerged as relatively central symptoms across the three samples, and relationship difficulties across adult networks. Differences in network attributes were more evident between networks varying both in age and in BPD symptom severity level.
Findings highlight the relative importance of affective, identity, and relationship symptoms, consistent with several leading theories of BPD. The network structure of BPD symptoms appears generally replicable across multiple large samples including adolescents and adults, providing further support for the validity of the diagnosis across these developmental phases.
Despite the prevalence and clinical significance of borderline personality disorder, its treatment remains understudied.
To evaluate treatment with variably dosed olanzapine in individuals with borderline personality disorder.
In this 12-week randomised, double-blind trial, individuals received olanzapine (2.5–20 mg/day; n=155) or placebo (n=159) (trial registry: NCT00091650). The primary efficacy measure was baseline to end-point change on the Zanarini Rating Scale for Borderline Personality Disorder (ZAN–BPD) using last-observation-carried-forward methodology.
Both olanzapine and placebo groups showed significant improvements but did not differ in magnitude at end-point (76.56 v. 76.25, P=0.661). Response rates (50% reduction in ZAN–BPD) were 64.7% with olanzapine and 53.5% with placebo (P=0.062); however, time to response was significantly shorter for olanzapine (P=0.022). Weight gain was significantly greater (2.86 v. 70.35 kg, P50.001), with higher incidence of treatment-emergent abnormal high levels of prolactin for the olanzapine group.
Individuals treated with olanzapine and placebo showed significant but not statistically different improvements on overall symptoms of borderline personality disorder. The types of adverse events observed with olanzapine treatment appeared similar to those observed previously in adult populations.
Background. The categorical classification system for personality disorder (PD) has been frequently criticized and several alternative dimensional models have been proposed.
Method. Antecedent, concurrent and predictive markers of construct validity were examined for three models of PDs: the Five-Factor Model (FFM), the Schedule for Nonadaptive and Adaptive Personality (SNAP) model and the DSM-IV in the Collaborative Study of Personality Disorders (CLPS) sample.
Results. All models showed substantial validity across a variety of marker variables over time. Dimensional models (including dimensionalized DSM-IV) consistently outperformed the conventional categorical diagnosis in predicting external variables, such as subsequent suicidal gestures and hospitalizations. FFM facets failed to improve upon the validity of higher-order factors upon cross-validation. Data demonstrated the importance of both stable trait and dynamic psychopathological influences in predicting external criteria over time.
Conclusions. The results support a dimensional representation of PDs that assesses both stable traits and dynamic processes.
Background. A defining feature of personality disorder (PD) is an enduring pattern of inner experience and behavior that is stable over time. Follow-up and follow-along studies have shown considerable diagnostic instability of PDs, however, even over short intervals. What, then, about personality disorder is stable? The purpose of this study was to determine the stability of impairment in psychosocial functioning in patients with four different PDs, in contrast to patients with major depressive disorder (MDD) and no PD, prospectively over a 2-year period.
Method. Six hundred treatment-seeking or treated patients were recruited primarily from clinical services in four metropolitan areas of the Northeastern USA. Patients were assigned to one of five diagnostic groups: schizotypal (STPD) (n=81), borderline (BPD) (n=155), avoidant (AVPD) (n=137), or obsessive–compulsive (OCPD) (n=142) personality disorders or MDD and no PD (n=85), based on the results of semi-structured interview assessments and self-report measures. Impairment in psychosocial functioning was measured using the Longitudinal Interval Follow-up Evaluation (LIFE) at baseline and at three follow-up assessments.
Results. Significant improvement in psychosocial functioning occurred in only three of seven domains of functioning and was largely the result of improvements in the MDD and no PD group. Patients with BPD or OCPD showed no improvement in functioning overall, but patients with BPD who experienced change in personality psychopathology showed some improvement in functioning. Impairment in social relationships appeared most stable in patients with PDs.
Conclusion. Impairment in functioning, especially social functioning, may be an enduring component of personality disorder.
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