Outcomes of dialectical behavior therapy administered by an interdisciplinary team

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Abstract

INTRODUCTION

87 female and 10 male adult outpatients with BPD diagnoses presenting with acute suicidal and self-harm behaviors were offered a 12-Month Intensive DBT Program delivered by an interdisciplinary team of psychotherapists, including social workers, nurses, and a psychologist.

METHODS

Clients were administered self-report measures at pre-treatment, and at 3-, 6-, and 12-month intervals in a single-group longitudinal design. Our analyses of treatment outcomes (ANOVA and Bonferroni-corrected comparisons) considered: BPD-specific symptoms, using the BSL-23 (n = 44), ZAN-BPD (n = 39), and DBT-WCCL Adaptive Skills Use and Dysfunctional Coping subscales (n = 43); transdiagnostic psychiatric symptoms, using the BSL Global Severity Index (n = 35); and quality of life, using QOLI t-scores (n = 42). We also evaluated changes in the proportions of clients who used services for mental health-related crises, visited the ER, or were admitted as inpatients.

RESULTS

Significant reductions in both BPD-specific and transdiagnostic psychiatric symptoms were found. Quality of life improved. DBT skills use notably increased and dysfunctional coping scores declined inversely. Fewer clients tended to use crisis services and visit the ER.

DISCUSSION

These results illustrate the potential for accessible, effective treatment for BPD delivered by interdisciplinary staff.

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