The Norwegian network for personality disorders - development, contributions and challenges through 30 years

Nord J Psychiatry. 2022 Nov 21;1-9. doi: 10.1080/08039488.2022.2147995. Online ahead of print.


Background: Established in 1992, the Norwegian Network for Personality Disorders (The Network) is a clinical research collaboration of specialist mental health and addiction services in Norway. Its primary focus is to facilitate systematic and relevant clinical assessment for patients with personality disorder and evaluate progress in psychotherapeutic treatment. However, large-scale data registers for personality disorder are still unique. This article presents the circumstances that led to the establishment of the Network, and its development and challenges in many areas, and through various phases.

Methods: In the following, we will outline how this close interaction between researchers, clinicians, and well-adapted systems has facilitated cooperation and clinical research. We will highlight some key factors that have been decisive during the network's development, and not least for further adaptation and existence.

Results: Through 30 years, the Network has succeeded in establishing a large and sustainable clinical research collaboration with a persistent focus on personality disorder and psychotherapeutic treatment. The collaboration has resulted in a broad range of scientific contributions to the understanding of personality disorder, assessment and measurement methods, treatment alliance, clinical outcomes, service utilization, and costs. In addition, The Network has also resulted in a number of synergy effects that have benefited clinicians, patients, and researchers.

Conclusions: The Norwegian Network for Personality Disorders has become an acknowledged institution in the field. Many aspects of its development, organization, maintenance, and solutions to challenges may be relevant to others who plan to establish, maintain, or further develop similar collaborations.

Keywords: Clinical research network; personality disorder; system development; user involvement.