Effectiveness of a 6-Week Day Hospital Treatment for Personality Disorders: Data From a Naturalistic Study

J Psychiatr Pract. 2019 May;25(3):199-205. doi: 10.1097/PRA.0000000000000382.


Objective: To report on the effectiveness of a time-limited day-hospital crisis treatment for personality disorders (PDs) in a naturalistic setting.

Method: Archival data from 260 patients diagnosed with PDs (202 female, 58 male) who completed a 6-week day-hospital treatment program between 2012 and 2015 were analyzed. Treatment was available upon referral by psychiatrists at local emergency rooms and short-term hospitalization units. Pre-post change was assessed using the Outcome Questionnaire (OQ-45.2).

Results: Patients significantly improved during treatment on the total OQ-45.2 scale and its 3 subscales. Pre-post changes yielded large effect sizes for the total OQ-45.2 scale and the Symptom Distress subscale, and moderate effect sizes for the Interpersonal Relations and Social Role subscales. Reliable change was observed for 55% of patients for the total scale. Younger patients (18 to 24 y of age) showed larger improvements on social role satisfaction than patients over the age of 30. Overall improvement was larger for patients engaged in social participation at the beginning of treatment.

Conclusions: This study conducted in a naturalistic setting suggests that a time-limited, 6-week day-hospital treatment program tailored to patients wiith PDs may be effective in reducing overall symptomatology in patients experiencing a crisis episode.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Day Care, Medical*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Outpatients / statistics & numerical data*
  • Personality Disorders / therapy*
  • Stress, Psychological
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Time Factors