Monday, October 3, 2016

Report Highlights Challenges People Face When Seeking Care for Borderline Personality Disorder

While people seeking resources for borderline personality disorder (BPD) appear to be aware of evidence-based therapies to treat BPD, stigma associated with the disorder and the cost of treatment remain significant hurdles to care, according to a report published today in Psychiatric Services in Advance. The authors of the report qualitatively examined BPD service needs from the perspective of those seeking care information or services related to BPD—including patients, family members and friends, and health professionals.

“This study provided a broad overview of the experiences and preferences of BPD care seekers and highlights important focal areas for improving BPD services,” wrote the study authors. “These insights offer targets for future efforts to improve BPD services and outcomes.”

Researchers at the Dartmouth Centers for Health and Aging analyzed the transcripts from more than 6,000 resource requests made to the Borderline Personality Disorder Resource Center (BPDRC) at New York Presbyterian Hospital between 2008 and 2015. From these transcripts, the authors were able to determine the frequency of the type of service requested, the distribution of requests by state, and the caller’s relationship to a BPD patient.

Afterwards, 500 transcripts were randomly chosen and assessed in more detail to identify themes, challenges, and common experiences reported by BPD care seekers. More than half (256) of the 500 requests were for outpatient services, and almost all of these were requests were for dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) or related behavioral therapies. Few callers seeking outpatient services for BPD requested pharmacotherapy or referrals to psychiatrists who could prescribe medications for BPD.

Among the areas that those requesting resources for BPD thought needed improvement were family services, crisis intervention, and mental health literacy. In addition, they cited stigmatization, financial concerns, and medical comorbidities as barriers to finding and obtaining appropriate treatment.

“Overall, these findings underscore challenges in obtaining appropriate care for BPD and opportunities for improving the coverage and scope of current resources,” the authors wrote.

To read more about BPD, see the Psychiatric News article “Shared Elements Across Therapies for Suicidal Patients With BPD.”

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