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Hospitalization Appears to Help Personality Disorder Patients

Most achieve long-term remission after in-patient treatment, study finds

FRIDAY, April 16 (HealthDay News) -- Long-term symptom remission is common among patients after they've been hospitalized because of borderline personality disorder, says a new study.

The disorder is characterized by chronic unhappiness, frequent changes in mood, irrational thoughts, impulsivity and unstable interpersonal relationships.

The study included 290 patients who were evaluated every two years after their release from the hospital. After 10 years of follow-up, 86 percent of the patients had sustained remission of symptoms.

While achieving concurrent symptom remission and good psychosocial functioning seems difficult for many borderline personality disorder patients, this recovery is relatively stable once it's attained, said Mary Zanarini and colleagues at McLean Hospital in Massachusetts.

The researchers suggested that treatment for borderline personality disorder should include a rehabilitative component that focuses on social and work skills.

"Improving interpersonal relationships and job performance is a large part of the goal for many patients and their families. A rehabilitation approach might also have the practical effect of reducing the percentage of patients who receive Social Security disability benefits, and, equally important, it could help alleviate some of their feelings of low self-worth," Zanarini stated in a news release from the American Psychiatric Association.

The study was published online April 15 in the American Journal of Psychiatry.

More information

The U.S. National Institute of Mental Health has more about borderline personality disorder.

-- Robert Preidt

SOURCE: American Psychiatric Association, news release, April 15, 2010

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