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Soc Psychiatry Psychiatr Epidemiol. 2010 Apr;45(4):453-60. doi: 10.1007/s00127-009-0084-7. Epub 2009 Jun 20.

The prevalence of personality disorder, its comorbidity with mental state disorders, and its clinical significance in community mental health teams.

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  • 1Department of Psychological Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Imperial College, London, UK. giles.newton-howes@imperial.ac.uk

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Personality status is seldom assessed in community mental health teams except at a rudimentary level. This study challenges the assumption that this policy is either prudent or wise.

AIMS:

To measure the prevalence of personality disorder within community mental health teams and to investigate its relationship to mental state disorders and overall pathology.

METHOD:

A cross-sectional survey of 2,528 of 2,567 psychiatric patients (98.5%) managed by community mental health teams in four urban settings in the UK in which diagnoses of personality and mental state pathology were assessed separately. Of these, a sample of 400 was interviewed, with a 70.5% completion rate for more in depth information.

RESULTS:

In total, 40% of all patients in secondary care suffered from at least one personality disorder. Regression modelling showed personality pathology accounted for a greater degree of global psychopathology than psychosis, alcohol or drug dependence, but was associated with anxiety disorders.

CONCLUSION:

Comorbid personality pathology contributes greatly to overall psychopathology in secondary psychiatric care. It should be both recognised and managed.

PMID:
19543844
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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