Evaluation of the level of training of French psychiatrists on borderline personality disorder: An online survey

Encephale. 2023 Aug 19:S0013-7006(23)00117-3. doi: 10.1016/j.encep.2023.06.014. Online ahead of print.


Background: Borderline personality disorder is a common and treatable personality disorder that is often underdiagnosed and untreated, mainly due to a lack of training of psychiatrists and to a lack of accessibility to specialized therapies. However, no study has been conducted in France regarding this issue. Thus, we aimed to evaluate on a national scale the level of training, knowledge, and general attitude toward BPD diagnosis of French psychiatrists.

Methods: We conducted an online survey in an unselected population of residents and senior French psychiatrists between January and March 2022, the results of which are presented descriptively.

Results: 228 psychiatrists fully answered the questionnaire, and 21 more psychiatrists answered it partially. We found that most of the responders were unsatisfied with the residency training or the continuing medical education offered regarding BPD, a lack of training resulting in a low level of self-confidence regarding BPD management, in a low number of evidence-based therapies trained psychiatrists in issues regarding diagnostic disclosure, and in misconceptions regarding some aspects of the disorder.

Conclusions: These results underlie a clear lack of training of French psychiatrists, as well as a request from the latter for more opportunities to learn. This calls for a rethinking of the teaching system to incorporate more knowledge and tools related to BPD.

Keywords: Borderline personality disorder; Formation; France; Internes; Psychiatres seniors; Residents; Senior psychiatrists; Training; Trouble de la personnalité borderline.