Perspectives on the prevalence and treatment of personality disorder

G. Winship, S. Hardy

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Personality disorder (PD) is the most prevalent psychiatric disorder. A methodical literature search identified that PD is under researched compared with other mental health problems such as depression or schizophrenia. Social and psychotherapeutic approaches emerge as dominant treatment approaches with PD where there is good evidence of efficacy. Collaborative group-based therapeutic approaches appear to offer a therapeutic counterpoise to the anti-social traits often prevalent in PD. A retrospective analysis of formal group therapy on acute inpatient units (treating PD patients among other mental health disorders) reveals only one violent incident in over 40 000 treatment hours of formal group therapy. It is argued that group-based and social therapy should be the recommended treatment approach because these approaches have been shown to create a safe and contained milieu, establishing a good base for therapeutic gain with PD patients. The case for widening the scope of collaborative group and community-based therapies is considered and the merits and shortcomings of a key worker system with PD patients are critiqued.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)148-154
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 7 Mar 2007


  • Group psychotherapy
  • Key worker
  • Personality disorder
  • Social exclusion

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