Borderline Personality Disorder Over Time: A One-Year Follow up Study

Document Type: Original article


1 Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

2 Iran Psychiatry Hospital, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran


Background: Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is a relatively common disorder affecting nearly 1-2 % of individuals. In this study, an attempt was made to assess the course and severity of symptoms of BPD in a one year follow up and to investigate the factors associated with the severity of symptoms over time.
Methods: In this cohort study which is conducted at Iran Psychiatry Hospital in 2016-17, BPD patients were assessed in the time of admission and 6 and 12 months afterwards. Demographic information along with comorbid disorders, suicidal and self-harm thoughts and attempts, other high risk behaviors, substance use, psychotic symptoms and DASS (Depression Anxiety Stress Scale with 40 questions) and Spilberger Inventory (Anger assessment with 10 questions) were investigated at first interview and each followup.
Results: In this study, 68 patients were enrolled. Forty two and then 38 patients were followed for 6 months and 12 months. Based on repeated measures analysis, the severity of borderline symptoms and DASS (p = 0.033) and Spielberger (p=0.019) scores significantly decreased within 12 months. Cox regression showed that there was only significant association between psychotic symptoms and BPD severity (p=0.002). There was no significant association between the type of therapy and the reduction of BPD severity (p=0.755).
Conclusion: Decreasing the symptoms severity over time seems to be related to time duration as an effective factor. It is probable that frequent contacts for follow up and therapeutic alliance might have contributed to reduction of symptoms severity. However, it should be kept in mind that a variety of other factors might have also induced such effects.


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