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Psychother Psychosom Med Psychol. 2007 Mar-Apr;57(3-4):161-9.

[Effectiveness of dialectical behavior therapy for patients with borderline personality disorder in the long-term course--a 30-month-follow-up after inpatient treatment].

[Article in German]

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Klinik für Psychiatrie und Psychotherapie, Universitätsklinikum Schleswig-Holstein, Campus Lübeck, Ratzeburger Allee 160, 23538 Lübeck.



The beneficial effects of Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) for patients with borderline personality disorder (BPD) are well established. However, it is not well known whether this type of treatment relieves symptoms and signs of BPD in the long-term course thereafter and whether the results of DBT are transferable for patients with high comorbidity.


We conducted a follow-up examination of 50 consecutive inpatients with BPD as defined by DSM-IV. The patients were examined at admission, at discharge and 15 and 30 months after discharge. For the clinical diagnosis and to survey psychopathology we used the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV (SCID), the Global Assessment of Functioning (GAF) and several self-rating-instruments.


Compared to admission 30 months after discharge we observed the following results: A significant number of patients did not meet the DSM-IV criteria for BPD anymore, comorbidity (particularly mood disorders, drug or alcohol abuse/dependence and eating disorders) was reduced, psychosocial functioning was improved and general and BPD-typical symptoms were relieved.


Our findings support the efficacy of DBT in an inpatient setting and show that the achieved success of therapy is stable for a prolonged period of time. Patients with high comorbidity seem to profit from DBT as well.

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