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Aust N Z J Psychiatry. 1997 Aug;31(4):465-73.

A prospective psychotherapy outcome study.



To assess the outcome of 31 patients treated in a day and semi-residential psychotherapy setting.


Patients had moderate to severe personality difficulties and were referred when current therapy was insufficient or because of the severity of their problems. Eighty-one percent had a Cluster C and 19% a Cluster B (Borderline) Personality Disorder diagnosis (DSM-III-R). Therapy was psychodynamically and feministin-formed and included a sociopolitical dimension. Rating scales used were the Symptom Checklist 90, Goal Attainment Scale, Global Assessment Scale and measures of health resource usage, which were completed pre-treatment, post-treatment and at 4-, 12- and 24-month follow-up.


Mean duration of therapy was 4 months (68 therapy days). All clinical rating scales demonstrated marked improvements following treatment (p < 0.0001) which were sustained at 2-year follow-up. There were also improvements of health resource usage.


The results document the clinical efficacy of psychotherapy in this setting, provide support for the philosophy of practice, and suggest that psychotherapy outcome can be evaluated at reasonable financial cost in many settings.

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