The impact of borderline personality disorder on post-traumatic stress in the community: a study of health status, health utilization, and functioning

Compr Psychiatry. 2002 Jan-Feb;43(1):41-8. doi: 10.1053/comp.2002.29846.


This study examines impairment and health status and resource utilization among individuals with and without borderline personality disorder (BPD), all of whom had post-traumatic stress symptoms (PTSS). Using data from the community-based Piedmont Health Survey, 150 adult respondents who had experienced clinically significant PTSS during their life were identified. The Diagnostic Interview Schedule (DIS) Borderline Index was used to distinguish a subset of respondents who met criteria for BPD. Compared with adults with PTSS (n = 135), individuals with PTSS and BPD (PTSS-BPD) (n = 15) exhibited impaired health status and greater utilization of mental health services and psychotropic medications, as well as more functional impairment based on social, occupational, and early adverse life-event measures. Individuals with comorbid PTSS and BPD demonstrate greater overall impairment and usage of health care resources.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Borderline Personality Disorder / diagnosis
  • Borderline Personality Disorder / economics*
  • Community Mental Health Services / economics
  • Community Mental Health Services / statistics & numerical data*
  • Drug Utilization
  • Female
  • Health Status
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • North Carolina / epidemiology
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care / psychology
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care / statistics & numerical data*
  • Psychotropic Drugs / economics*
  • Social Adjustment
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / economics*
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / epidemiology
  • Surveys and Questionnaires


  • Psychotropic Drugs