The prevalence of personality disorder among UK primary care attenders

Authors


Dr Paul Moran, Section of Epidemiology and General Practice, Institute of Psychiatry, De Crespigny Park, London SE5 8AF, UK.

Abstract

Objective: To determine the prevalence rate of personality disorder among a consecutive sample of UK primary care attenders. Associations between a diagnosis of personality disorder, sociodemographic background and common mental disorder were examined.

Method: Three hundred and three consecutive primary care attenders were examined for the presence of ICD-10 and DSM-4 personality disorders using an informant-based interview.

Results: Personality disorder was diagnosed in 24% (95% CI: 19–29) of the sample. Personality-disordered subjects were more likely to have psychiatric morbidity as indicated by GHQ-12, to report previous psychological morbidity, to be single and to attend the surgery on an emergency basis. ‘Cluster B’ personality disorders were particularly associated with psychiatric morbidity.

Conclusion: There is a high prevalence rate of personality disorders among primary care attenders. These disorders are associated with the presence of common mental disorder and unplanned surgery attendance. Personality disorders may represent a significant source of burden in primary care.

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