Psychosocial impairment and treatment utilization by patients with borderline personality disorder, other personality disorders, mood and anxiety disorders, and a healthy comparison group

Compr Psychiatry. 2007 Jul-Aug;48(4):329-36. doi: 10.1016/j.comppsych.2007.02.001. Epub 2007 Apr 6.


This study compared psychosocial functioning and treatment utilization in 130 participants who were diagnosed with a borderline personality disorder (BPD), a non-BPD personality disorder (OPD), a mood and/or anxiety disorder (MAD), or had no current psychiatric diagnosis and served as a healthy comparison group. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (4th Edition) diagnoses, psychosocial functioning, and treatment utilization were determined by using well-established semistructured research interviews conducted by trained doctoral-level clinicians. Analysis of variance revealed the most severe deficits in functioning characterized the BPD group across areas of global functioning with more moderate impairments in functioning occurring in OPD and MAD groups. The BPD group was characterized by significantly greater psychiatric and nonpsychiatric treatment utilization than the other groups. These findings indicate that BPD as well as other personality disorders are a source of considerable psychologic distress and functional impairment equivalent to, and at times exceeding, the distress found in mood and anxiety disorders. The public health impact of BPD diagnosis is highlighted by the high rates of psychiatric and nonpsychiatric treatment utilization.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological*
  • Adult
  • Anxiety Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Anxiety Disorders / psychology
  • Anxiety Disorders / therapy
  • Borderline Personality Disorder / diagnosis*
  • Borderline Personality Disorder / psychology
  • Borderline Personality Disorder / therapy
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Health Status
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations
  • Male
  • Mental Health Services / statistics & numerical data*
  • Middle Aged
  • Mood Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Mood Disorders / psychology
  • Mood Disorders / therapy
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care / statistics & numerical data
  • Personality Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Personality Disorders / psychology
  • Personality Disorders / therapy
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales / statistics & numerical data
  • Psychotherapy / statistics & numerical data
  • Social Adjustment*
  • Stress, Psychological / diagnosis