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J Consult Clin Psychol. 1989 Dec;57(6):756-64.

Short-term structured treatment for avoidant personality disorder.


Forty-two men and 34 women (mean age 27.5 years) who met DSM-III criteria for avoidant personality disorder were randomly assigned to 1 of 3 treatment conditions or to a waiting-list control group. Treatment Ss who participated in a 10-week group treatment program displayed significantly greater improvement on a variety of self-report and behavioral measures than did untreated control subjects. The inclusion of skills-training procedures did not contribute to the effects of graduated exposure procedures alone. The gains made during treatment were maintained over the follow-up period, but few further improvements were made. Clinical significance was evaluated by both the subjective evaluation method and the social comparison method. These procedures indicated that although significant improvements had been made, these avoidant Ss were not functioning at the level of normative comparison samples at treatment termination.

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