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Preliminary evaluation of personality disorder awareness workshops for prison staff

Lisa Maltman (Assistant Psychologist, Psychology Department at Rampton Hospital, Nottinghamshire Mental Health NHS Trust, Retford, UK)
Laura Hamilton (Forensic Psychologist, Psychology Department at Rampton Hospital, Nottinghamshire Mental Health NHS Trust, Retford, UK)

The British Journal of Forensic Practice

ISSN: 1463-6646

Article publication date: 16 November 2011

Abstract

Purpose

Positive professional attitudes towards personality‐disordered clients have been linked with extensive clinical and strategic benefits. The largest influences upon such attitudes are associated with staff training, supervision and support. This preliminary evaluation seeks to consider the effect of an introductory personality disorder awareness workshop upon trainees' attitudes towards personality disordered prisoners.

Design/methodology/approach

The attitude towards personality disorder questionnaire (APDQ) was administered to prison staff (predominantly prison officers) immediately before the workshop and then re‐tested, on average, two months later.

Findings

The study sample (n=26) showed significant improvements on the “security versus vulnerability” APDQ sub‐scale. The remaining four sub‐scales and overall APDQ scores showed no significant change.

Practical implications

The findings indicate that personality disorder awareness training should initially engage with trainees' perceptions of their personal security and vulnerability when working with this client group, rather than aiming to increase liking, enjoyment and acceptance of such offenders.

Originality/value

This study marks a preliminary analysis of a new personality disorder awareness training programme.

Keywords

Citation

Maltman, L. and Hamilton, L. (2011), "Preliminary evaluation of personality disorder awareness workshops for prison staff", The British Journal of Forensic Practice, Vol. 13 No. 4, pp. 244-256. https://doi.org/10.1108/14636641111190006

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited