There are few publications on personality disorder in adults with intellectual disability (ID), and on borderline personality disorder (BPD) specifically. Publications concerning treatment are sparse, despite the high symptom burden in these patients. This paper aims to discuss these issues.
Six patients with BPD and ID were recruited from the same inpatient unit. Behaviour problems and mental health symptoms were scored on admission and discharge. Information about treatment, length of stay, etc. was taken from case files.
Both mental health symptoms measured by the SCL-90-R, and behaviour problems measured by the Aberrant Behaviour Checklist were significantly reduced on discharge. In the active treatment period, the two main aspects of treatment were validation and practicing new solutions when emotional and behavioural problems occur, i.e. skills training.
The limitations related to this study are that the study is conducted in one milieu only. Another limitation is that the patients were admitted over a five-year period, where, some changes were made in the treatment approach.
Inpatient treatment of this patient group seems to be effective if individually adjusted to the patient’s psychopathology, ID and communication style. Close co-operation between the individual therapist and milieu therapists is essential.
There is a need for intervention studies on BPD in ID. This study may be a valuable contribution.
Iversen, T., Horndalsveen, K., Matre, E., Henriksen, T., Fusche, S., Kildahl, A. and Bakken, T. (2019), "Inpatient treatment of borderline personality disorder in adults with intellectual disability: reflections on practice", Advances in Mental Health and Intellectual Disabilities, Vol. 13 No. 2, pp. 67-75. https://doi.org/10.1108/AMHID-03-2018-0008Download as .RIS
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