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Personal Disord. 2019 Jan;10(1):70-79. doi: 10.1037/per0000298. Epub 2018 Jul 12.

A randomized controlled trial of a mentalization-based intervention (MBT-FACTS) for families of people with borderline personality disorder.

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Research Department of Clinical, Educational and Health Psychology.


This article reports a delayed-treatment randomized controlled trial of a mentalization-based intervention for families or significant others living with or supporting a person with borderline personality disorder (BPD). In all, 56 family members/significant others living with/supporting people with a diagnosis of BPD were randomized either to immediate mentalization-based Families and Carers Training and Support, a supportive and skills-based program consisting of five 1.5- to 2-hr evening meetings, delivered by trained family members, or to delayed intervention. The primary outcome was adverse incidents reported by the family member in relation to the person with BPD. Secondary outcomes included self-reported family well-being, empowerment, burden, and levels of anxiety and depression. Family members randomized to immediate intervention showed a significant reduction in reported adverse incidents between themselves and the identified patient in the second phase of treatment compared with those randomized to delayed intervention. Analysis of the rate of change indicated a significantly steeper decline for the immediate-treatment group compared with the delayed-intervention group (β = -1.07, 95% confidence interval [-1.40, -0.74], z = -6.3, p < .000). Secondary outcome measures showed family functioning and well-being improved more in the immediate-treatment group; changes were maintained at follow-up. There were no differences in depression, total anxiety, and total burden; both groups showed improvement on all these measures. Findings show that the mentalization-based Families and Carers Training and Support program delivered by families to families supporting a person with BPD reduces reported adverse incidents within the family. Further studies are needed to show whether this reduction improves outcomes for the individual with BPD. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved).

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