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Antisocial Personality Disorder

A personality disorder whose essential feature is a pervasive pattern of disregard for, and violation of, the rights of others that begins in childhood or early adolescence and continues into adulthood. The individual must be at least age 18.

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(Source: NIH - National Library of Medicine)

About Antisocial Personality Disorder

Antisocial personality disorder is defined by the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual on Mental Disorders, fourth edition (DSM-IV) as "...a pervasive pattern of disregard for, and violation of, the rights of others that begins in childhood or early adolescence and continues into adulthood." People with antisocial personality disorder may disregard social norms and laws, repeatedly lie, place others at risk for their own benefit, and demonstrate a profound lack of remorse. It is sometimes referred to as sociopathic personality disorder, or sociopathy. NIH - National Institute of Mental Health

What works? Research summarized

Evidence reviews

Antisocial Personality Disorder: Treatment, Management and Prevention

The guideline on Antisocial Personality Disorder, commissioned by NICE and developed by the National Collaborating Centre for Mental Health, sets out clear, evidence- and consensus-based recommendations for staff working in health and social care and the criminal justice system on how to treat, manage and prevent antisocial personality disorder.

Psychological treatments for people with antisocial personality disorder

We considered 11 studies, but were unable to draw any firm conclusions from the evidence available. Although several studies looked at treatments to reduce drug or alcohol misuse in people with antisocial personality disorder, few studies focused on treating the disorder itself. Only three studies reported outcome measures that were originally defined in the review protocol as being of particular importance in this disorder (reconviction and aggression). Nonetheless, there was some evidence that a type of treatment known as contingency management (which provides rewards for progress in treatment) could help people with antisocial personality disorder to reduce their misuse of drugs or alcohol.

The use of medication to treat people with antisocial personality disorder

We considered eight studies, but none of them recruited participants solely on the basis of having antisocial personality disorder. While most studies included in this review looked at treatments to reduce drug or alcohol misuse in people with antisocial personality disorder, no study focused on treating the disorder itself. Studies varied in terms of choice of outcomes. While some studies reported outcome measures that were originally defined in the review protocol as being of particular importance in this disorder (for example, aggression, social functioning and adverse effects resulting from the use of medication), no study reported on reconviction.

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Summaries for consumers

Psychological treatments for people with antisocial personality disorder

We considered 11 studies, but were unable to draw any firm conclusions from the evidence available. Although several studies looked at treatments to reduce drug or alcohol misuse in people with antisocial personality disorder, few studies focused on treating the disorder itself. Only three studies reported outcome measures that were originally defined in the review protocol as being of particular importance in this disorder (reconviction and aggression). Nonetheless, there was some evidence that a type of treatment known as contingency management (which provides rewards for progress in treatment) could help people with antisocial personality disorder to reduce their misuse of drugs or alcohol.

The use of medication to treat people with antisocial personality disorder

We considered eight studies, but none of them recruited participants solely on the basis of having antisocial personality disorder. While most studies included in this review looked at treatments to reduce drug or alcohol misuse in people with antisocial personality disorder, no study focused on treating the disorder itself. Studies varied in terms of choice of outcomes. While some studies reported outcome measures that were originally defined in the review protocol as being of particular importance in this disorder (for example, aggression, social functioning and adverse effects resulting from the use of medication), no study reported on reconviction.

More about Antisocial Personality Disorder

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Also called: Sociopathy, Sociopathic personality disorder, Dissocial personality disorder, Psychopathic personality disorder

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