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J Nerv Ment Dis. 2005 Jun;193(6):412-6.

Adult experiences of abuse reported by borderline patients and Axis II comparison subjects over six years of prospective follow-up.

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Laboratory for the Study for Adult Development, McLean Hospital, 115 Mill Street, Belmont, MA 02478, USA.


The main objective of this study was to assess the rates of adult experiences of verbal, emotional, physical, and sexual abuse reported by borderline patients and Axis II comparison subjects during 6 years of prospective follow-up. A semistructured interview was administered to 290 borderline patients and 72 Axis II comparison subjects during their index admission. A follow-up analogue to this interview was administered at three contiguous 2-year follow-up periods. Over 94% of surviving patients were re-interviewed at all three follow-up waves. The rates of all four forms of reported abuse declined significantly over time for all subjects considered together. However, each of these types of abuse was reported by a significantly higher percentage of borderline patients than Axis II comparison subjects. When the presence of these forms of abuse was used to predict time to remission, all but sexual abuse were strongly associated with the failure to achieve symptomatic remission from borderline personality disorder. Taken together, the results of this study suggest that the rates of adult abuse reported by borderline patients decline significantly with time but remain relatively high. They also suggest that adult experiences of abuse are strongly associated with a failure to remit from borderline personality disorder.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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