Judging personality disorder: A systematic review of clinician attitudes and responses to borderline personality disorder

James Baker, Peter I. Beazley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
2 Downloads (Pure)


Background: It has been suggested that the diagnosis of borderline personality disorder (BPD) is associated with particularly stigmatizing connotations, particularly among mental health professionals. The goal of this study was to synthesize quantitative studies investigating the attitudes and responses of clinicians to BPD and to appraise the methodological quality of these studies.

Methods: A systematic search was carried out using MEDLINE Complete, CINAHL Complete, PsychoINFO, PsychARTICLES, Scopus, Social Sciences Citation Index, and Academic Search Complete. Study quality was rated using an adapted tool.

Results: This review included 37 papers involving an estimated 8196 participants: 21 cross-sectional survey studies, 5 studies assessing training workshops, 5 studies assessing countertransference, and 6 experimental studies. The methodological quality of the studies was mixed, with many differing measures with questionable validity used.

Conclusions: Negative attitudes toward BPD continue to be a problem to differing degrees among clinical staff. Although this issue is most prominent among psychiatric nurses, the results of this review highlight evidence of negative attitudes across all mental health professions as well as potentially in professionals working in physical health settings. Various clinician-level factors may play a role in the development and maintenance of such attitudes. Greater exposure to patients with BPD and attendance at training programs have been found to be associated with improved attitudes. Professionals require regular training concerning BPD that is sufficiently evidence-based.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)275-293
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Psychiatric Practice
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2022


  • borderline personality disorder
  • stigma
  • systematic review
  • attributions
  • training

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