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J Psychiatr Ment Health Nurs. 2009 Jun;16(5):481-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2850.2009.01406.x.

Attitudes, knowledge and experience of nurses working in psychiatric hospitals in Greece, regarding borderline personality disorder: a comparative study.

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  • 1Athens University Department of Psychiatry, Eginition Hospital, Athens 11528, Greece.


The objectives of this study is to determine the knowledge, attitudes and experience of psychiatric nurses regarding clients with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) and to compare nurses working in Psychiatric Hospitals with those in Psychiatric Clinics of General Hospitals. The study was performed in two public Psychiatric Hospitals and the Psychiatric Clinics of two public General Hospitals in the area of Greater Athens. The 23-item questionnaire of Cleary et al. was used in this study. It was sent to all nurses (n = 127) in 15 psychiatric wards. The staff have good enough knowledge regarding the diagnosis and treatment of the BPD patients. In Psychiatric Hospitals (A) the staff comes in contact with BPD patients less frequently than in the Psychiatric Clinics in General Hospitals (B). In the diagnostic question of 'the unstable mood with rapid shifts' most of the nurses who responded correctly belong to group A than to group B. In group A, nurses believe that not informing the patients of their disorder is the reason for their inadequate treatment, while in group B it is not reported as a reason. In group A, the staff consider that it is within their role to assess BPD patients, far more than in group B. Our hypothesis that nurses in psychiatric hospitals had less knowledge and experience as well as negative attitudes towards BPD patients was not confirmed, although the contact frequency with BPD patients was found statistically low.

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