Background: Dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT) is widely considered to be a promising treatment for borderline personality disorder (BPD). However, the evidence for its efficacy published thus far should be regarded as preliminary. Aims: To compare the effectiveness of DBT with treatment as usual for patients with BPD and to examine the impact of baseline severity on effectiveness. Method: Fifty-eight women with BPD were randomly assigned to either 12 months of DBT or usual treatment in a randomised controlled study. Participants were recruited through clinical referrals from both addiction treatment and psychiatric services. Outcome measures included treatment retention and the course of suicidal, self-mutilating and self-damaging impulsive behaviours. Results: Dialectical behaviour therapy resulted in better retention rates and greater reductions of self-mutilating and self-damaging impulsive behaviours compared with usual treatment, especially among those with a history of frequent self-mutilation. Conclusions: Dialectical behaviour therapy is superior to usual treatment in reducing high-risk behaviours in patients with BPD.

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Journal British Journal of Psychiatry
Verheul, R, van den Bosch, L.M.C, Koëter, M, de Ridder, M.A.J, Stijnen, Th, & van den Brink, W. (2003). Dialectical behaviour therapy for women with borderline personality disorder: 12-Month, randomised clinical trial in The Netherlands. British Journal of Psychiatry, 182(FEB.), 135–140. doi:10.1192/bjp.182.2.135