Effectiveness of combined individual and group dialectical behavior therapy compared to only individual dialectical behavior therapy: a preliminary study

Óscar Andión, Marc Ferrer, Josep Matali, Beatriz Gancedo, Natalia Calvo, Carmen Barral, Sergi Valero, Andrea Di Genova, Marc J Diener, Rafael Torrubia, Miguel Casas
Psychotherapy 2012, 49 (2): 241-50
Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) is an effective therapy. However, treating borderline personality disorder (BPD) patients with standard DBT can be problematic in some institutions due to logistical or cost limitations. The aim of this preliminary study is to examine the efficacy of Individual DBT in 37 BPD patients, compared with Combined individual/Group DBT in 14 BPD patients. Outcome measures included suicide attempts, self-harm behaviors, and visits to emergency departments. These variables were examined at pretreatment, 12 months/end of treatment, and at an 18-month follow-up. In addition, dropout rates were examined. Significant improvements on the outcome measures were observed across both versions of DBT treatment, particularly at the 18-month follow-up assessment. No significant differences were observed between Individual DBT and Combined individual/Group DBT on any of the posttreatment evaluations. An individual version of DBT may be an effective and less costly option for BPD treatment. Larger controlled trials are needed to confirm the results.


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