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Behav Res Ther. 2005 Sep;43(9):1231-41.

Sustained efficacy of dialectical behaviour therapy for borderline personality disorder.

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  • 1Forensic Psychiatric Institute Oldenkotte, Kievenneweg 18, Rekken 7157 CC, The Netherlands. wiesvdbosch@planet.nl


Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) is considered one of the most promising treatments for borderline personality disorder (BPD). Recently, we reported significantly positive effects of 12 months DBT on parasuicidal behaviour and impulsivity in a mixed group of female BPD patients with and without substance abuse. Fifty-eight women with BPD were randomly assigned to either 52 weeks of DBT or treatment as usual (TAU). Follow-up assessment took place at 78 weeks, i.e., 6 months after discontinuation of DBT. Participants were clinical referrals from addiction treatment and psychiatric services. Outcome measures included parasuicidal behaviour, impulsivity and substance abuse. Six months after treatment discontinuation, the benefits of DBT over TAU in terms of lower levels of parasuicidal and impulsive behaviours, and in alcohol use, sustained. No differences between the treatment conditions were found for drug abuse. In conclusion, DBT seems to have a sustained effect on some of the core symptoms of BPD and on alcohol problems in a mixed population of female borderline patients with and without substance abuse problems.

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