DBT With Skills Training Can Benefit Borderline Personality Disorder

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Dialectical Behavior Therapy With Skills Training
Dialectical Behavior Therapy With Skills Training

(HealthDay News) — For patients with borderline personality disorder with high suicide risk, dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) interventions that include skills training are most effective, according to a study published online March 25 in JAMA Psychiatry.

Marsha M. Linehan, Ph.D., from the University of Washington in Seattle, and colleagues compared skills training plus case management (DBT-S), DBT individual therapy plus activities group (DBT-I), and standard DBT, which includes skills training and individual therapy, to assess the importance of the skills training component. The trial involved one year of treatment and one year of follow-up in 99 women with borderline personality disorder.

The researchers observed similar improvements in the frequency and severity of suicide attempts, suicide ideation, use of crisis services due to suicidality, and reasons for living for all treatment conditions. Interventions that included skills training resulted in greater improvements in the frequency of non-suicidal self-injury acts and depression during the treatment year, compared with the DBT-I group. During the treatment year there was also a significant improvement in anxiety in standard DBT and DBT-S, but not in DBT-I. The standard DBT group had lower treatment dropout rates and patients were less likely to use crisis services in follow-up compared with the DBT-I group.

"Interventions that include DBT skills training are more effective than DBT without skills training, and standard DBT may be superior in some areas," the authors write.

One author disclosed financial ties to companies involved with DBT; several authors receive compensation for providing DBT training and consultation.

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