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

Br J Psychiatry. 2003 Feb;182:135-40. doi: 10.1192/bjp.182.2.135.

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.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antipsychotic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Behavior Therapy / methods*
  • Borderline Personality Disorder / drug therapy
  • Borderline Personality Disorder / psychology
  • Borderline Personality Disorder / therapy*
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Compliance
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Self-Injurious Behavior / prevention & control
  • Suicide, Attempted / prevention & control
  • Treatment Outcome

Substances

  • Antipsychotic Agents