Psychological therapies for people with borderline personality disorder (Review)

Claire Binks, Mark Fenton, Lucy McCarthy, Tracey Yeadon-Lee, Clive Adams, Connor Duggan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a relatively common personality disorder with a major impact on health services as those affected often present in crisis, often self-harming.

To evaluate the effects of psychological interventions for people with borderline personality disorder.

Search strategy
We conducted a systematic search of 26 specialist and general bibliographic databases (December 2002) and searched relevant reference
lists for further trials.

Selection criteria
All relevant clinical randomised controlled trials involving psychological treatments for peoplewith BPD.The definition of psychological treatments included behavioural, cognitive-behavioural, psychodynamic and psychoanalytic.

Data collection and analysis
We independently selected, quality assessed and data extracted studies. For binary outcomes we calculated a standard estimation of the risk ratio (RR), its 95% confidence interval (CI), and where possible the number need to help/harm (NNT/H). For continuous outcomes, endpoint data were preferred to change data. Non-skewed data from valid scales were summated using a weighted mean difference (WMD).

Main results
We identified seven studies involving 262 people, and five separate comparisons. Comparing dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT) with treatment as usual studies found no difference for the outcome of still meeting SCID-II criteria for the diagnosis of BPD by six months (n=28, 1 RCT, RR 0.69 CI 0.35 to 1.38) or admission to hospital in previous three months (n=28, 1 RCT, RR 0.77 CI 0.28 to 2.14).
Original languageEnglish
JournalCochrane Database of Systematic Reviews
Publication statusPublished - 25 Jan 2006


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