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Z Psychosom Med Psychother. 2010;56(1):34-46.

[The psychic structure of chronic pain patients].

[Article in German]

Author information

  • 1Universitätsklinik für Psychoanalyse und Psychotherapie, Medizinische Universität Wien, A-1090 Wien.



The study investigates the psychic structure and psychiatric comorbidity of chronic pain patients according to Kernberg's concept of personality organization.


We assessed 48 chronic pain patients attending the Behavioural Medicine Pain Clinic in the Department of Psychiatry. Patients were diagnosed using the SCID (DSM-IV). Psychic structure was assessed using the Structured Interview of Personality Organization (STIPO).


At least one psychiatric diagnosis was found in 94 % of the patients, and 63 % of the patients met the criteria of at least one diagnosis of a personality disorder. In 58 % of the patients, we diagnosed a borderline personality organization, with high deficits in the dimensions of coping, defence mechanisms and identity.


The high prevalence of borderline personality organization confirms the importance of a diagnostic investigation of the psychic structure and the necessity for psychotherapeutic treatment in chronic pain patients.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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