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J Pers Disord. 2008 Dec;22(6):549-63. doi: 10.1521/pedi.2008.22.6.549.

The effect of dialectical behavior therapy skills use on borderline personality disorder features.

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University of Missouri-Columbia, USA.


We assessed the effect of DBT skills utilization on features of borderline personality disorder as measured by the Personality Assessment Inventory-Borderline Features Scale (PAI-BOR). Participants were outpatients (N = 27) enrolled in a dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) program in a university-affiliated community mental health clinic. Diary cards were collected each week to track self-reported skills use. At the beginning of each new skills training module, patients completed another PAI-BOR. Univariate and multilevel analyses indicated significant improvement on the total PAI-BOR score and on several PAI-BOR subscale scores. Results also revealed that overall DBT skills use increased significantly over time, as did individual skills related to mindfulness, interpersonal effectiveness, emotion regulation, and distress tolerance. Multilevel modeling results indicated that overall skills use showed a significant effect on PAI-BOR total scores, Affective Instability scores, Identity Problems scores, and Negative Relationships scores, even after controlling for initial levels of distress and diary card compliance.

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