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Early termination of treatment in personality disorder treated in a psychotherapy hospital

Author(s): Chiesa M, Drahorad D, Longo S

Abstract

Background

Factors underlying premature discontinuation of psychosocial in-patient treatment are still unclear.

Aims

Investigation of early discontinuation of specialised in-patient psychosocial treatment in a sample of people with personality disorder.

Method

Out of 134 consecutive admissions to the Cassel Hospital, 42 early drop-outs and 92 patients who remained were compared on demographic and clinical variables. Early drop-outs were invited for in-depth interviews, to explore their hospital experiences.

Results

The early drop-out group and the group which remained showed significant differences in occupational status, borderline personality disorder (BPD) and the treatment programme to which they were allocated. All three independent variables predicted early discontinuation of treatment. The qualitative analysis of interview transcripts identified significant problems in institutional dimensions.

Conclusions

Important subjects and process variables contributing to early drop-out in people with personality disorder were identified, with potential implications for clinical practice.

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