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Nord J Psychiatry. 2007;61(4):260-70.

Psychological distress and functional impairment in patients with personality disorders.

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  • 1Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Psychotherapy Section, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.


The study is aimed at investigating the impact of a personality disorder (PD) diagnosis, in terms of functional impairment and subjective distress, in order to better understand the burden of this diagnosis and its implications. Among the 462 consecutive psychiatric patients diagnosed with the DSM structured interview for Axis I, II and V diagnoses, almost 60% had PD. Patients with PD displayed considerable vulnerability and suffering in many domains, including finances and interpersonal relationships. Despite the educational and occupational similarities of PD patients and non-PD patients, the PD patients had more problems maintaining permanent job positions. They also had more symptomatic suffering and concerns about health than non-PD patients. Generally, the results were in line with findings in the literature but more thoroughly captured the challenges that PD patients face in various areas of life. Awareness of the frequent comorbidity of PD with Axis I disorders seems crucial in developing future treatment plans with an emphasis on psychosocial rehabilitation, vocational training and social support.

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