- Patients with cluster A personality disorders in psychotherapy: an effectiveness study
- Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics
- Volume | Issue number
- 80 | 2
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Psychology Research Institute (PsyRes)
Background: While psychopharmacological studies are common in patients with cluster A personality disorders, the effects of psychotherapy have received little attention. The aim of this study is to explore whether psychotherapeutic treatment yields health gains for these patients.
Methods: The study was conducted between March 2003 and June 2008 in 6 mental health care centres in the Netherlands, with a sample of 57 patients with a DSM-IV-TR axis II cluster A diagnosis. Patients were assigned to 3 settings of psychotherapeutic treatment (outpatient, day hospital, inpatient), and effectiveness was assessed at 18 months after baseline. An intention-to-treat analysis was conducted for psychiatric symptoms (Brief Symptom Inventory), psychosocial functioning (Outcome Questionnaire-45) and quality of life (EQ-5D), using multilevel statistical modelling. As the study was non-randomised, the propensity score method was used to control for initial differences.
Results: Patients in the day hospital and inpatient group improved substantially in terms of psychiatric symptoms, social and interpersonal functioning, and quality of life. Patients in the outpatient group showed less improvement. Direct comparison of the improvement of psychiatric symptoms showed significant results in favour of day hospital (p = 0.046) and inpatient (p = 0.01) treatment, as compared to outpatient treatment. However, due to substantial baseline differences, this direct comparison should be judged carefully.
Conclusions: Cluster A psychopathology is not a contraindication to benefit from psychotherapy. This is especially true for more intensive forms like inpatient and day hospital treatment. Future research should focus more on psychotherapeutic treatment to gain further insight into effective treatment options for this patient group.
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