Psychometric properties of the Borderline Symptom List (BSL)

Psychopathology. 2007;40(2):126-32. doi: 10.1159/000098493. Epub 2007 Jan 11.


Background: The Borderline Symptom List (BSL) was developed as a self-rating instrument to specifically quantify borderline-typical symptomatology. The items are based on the criteria of the DSM-IV, the Diagnostic Interview for Borderline Personality Disorder - revised version, the opinions of clinical experts and borderline patients. The psychometric properties and validity of the BSL have been investigated in several studies.

Sampling and methods: A total of 380 borderline patients and 204 healthy controls scored the items. A factor analysis of the BSL items suggests the following subscales: 'self-perception', 'affect regulation', 'self-destruction', 'dysphoria', 'loneliness', 'intrusions' and 'hostility'.

Results: The internal reliability as well as the test-retest reliability within 1 week are high. Different aspects of validity (e.g. comparison between groups) provide favorable results. Pre-post comparisons after 3 months of dialectical behavioral treatment reveal a significant reduction of the total score and of 5 of the 7 subscales.

Conclusions: This indicates that the BSL is sensitive to therapeutically induced change of borderline-typical impairment.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Anxiety Disorders / diagnosis
  • Anxiety Disorders / psychology
  • Behavior Therapy
  • Borderline Personality Disorder / diagnosis*
  • Borderline Personality Disorder / psychology
  • Borderline Personality Disorder / therapy
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / diagnosis
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / psychology
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder / diagnosis
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder / psychology
  • Personality Inventory / statistics & numerical data*
  • Psychometrics / statistics & numerical data
  • Reference Values
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Schizophrenia / diagnosis
  • Treatment Outcome