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Keywords:

  • outcome;
  • personality disorder;
  • temperament

Objective

The purpose of this study was to determine the most clinically relevant baseline predictors of time-to-recovery from borderline personality disorder.

Method

Two hundred and ninety in-patients meeting rigorous criteria for borderline personality disorder were assessed during their index admission using a series of semistructured interviews and self-report measures. Recovery status, which was defined as concurrent symptomatic remission and good social and full-time vocational functioning, was reassessed at eight contiguous 2-year time periods. Survival analytic methods (Cox regression), which controlled for overall baseline severity, were used to estimate hazard ratios and their confidence intervals.

Results

All told, 60% of the borderline patients studied achieved a 2-year recovery. In bivariate analyses, seventeen variables were found to be significant predictors of earlier time-to-recovery. Six of these predictors remained significant in multivariate analyses: no prior psychiatric hospitalizations, higher IQ, good full-time vocational record in 2 years prior to index admission, absence of an anxious cluster personality disorder, high extraversion, and high agreeableness.

Conclusion

Taken together, the results of this study suggest that prediction of time-to-recovery for borderline patients is multifactorial in nature, involving factors related to lack of chronicity, competence, and more adaptive aspects of temperament.