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Methodological considerations for treatment trials for persons with borderline personality disorder

Mary C. Zanarini, EdD

Department of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA

Barbara Stanley, PhD

Department of Psychiatry, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York, NY, USA

Donald W. Black, MD

Department of Psychiatry, University of Iowa Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine, Iowa City, IA, USA

John C. Markowitz, MD

Department of Psychiatry, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York, NY, USA

Marianne Goodman, MD

Department of Psychiatry, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY, USA

Paul Pilkonis, PhD

Department of Psychiatry, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, USA

Thomas R. Lynch, PhD

School of Psychology, University of Exeter Exeter, Devon, United Kingdom

Kenneth Levy, PhD

Department of Psychology, The Pennsylvania State University University Park, PA, USA

Peter Fonagy, PhD

Psychoanalysis Unit, Research Department of Clinical, Educational and Health Psychology, University College London, London, United Kingdom

Martin Bohus, MD

Department of Psychosomatic Medicine and Psychotherapy, Central Institute of Mental Health, Mannheim, Germany

Joan Farrell, PhD

Department of Psychiatry, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, IN, USA

Charles Sanislow, PhD

Department of Psychology, Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT, USA

BACKGROUND: The National Institute of Mental Health convened an international group of experts to examine the conduct of treatment trials for persons with borderline personality disorder (BPD). The rapid growth of treatment research had led to the recognition that investigators face unique methodological issues with these challenging patients.

METHODS: Conference members reviewed critical aspects of psychotherapy and pharmacotherapy trial design for patients with BPD.

RESULTS: This article summarizes discussions held on March 17-18, 2005.

CONCLUSION: This paper addresses the most pressing issues in sample selection and trial design pertaining to BPD; issues that have bedeviled both investigators submitting applications and reviewers trying to assess the merit of these grants. By disseminating this work, conference members hope to make this process more consistent and productive for all concerned.

KEYWORDS: Borderline personality disorder, treatment, guidelines

Annals of Clinical Psychiatry 2010;22(2):75-83

CORRESPONDENCE: Mary C. Zanarini, EdD, McLean Hospital, 115 Mill Street, Belmont, MA 02478 USA E-MAIL: zanarini@mclean.harvard.edu

 
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