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Thirty-Third Annual Meeting of the Society for Research in Psychopathology

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169. Comparing change in borderline personality disorder across assessment method and symptoms

There is beginning to be robust evidence that borderline personality disorder (BPD) symptomology decreases over time, even leading to remission. However, given that there are so few longitudinal studies supporting this, further replication is necessary, including replication across multiple methods of assessing symptoms (e.g. clinical interview or self-report). Additionally, these studies conflict on whether all symptoms decrease at comparable rates, or if there may be symptoms that are more chronic, while others are more acute. This may be due to differing definitions of symptoms and also the methods used to measure them. The present study used data from a three year longitudinal study of 282 participants with mixed BPD diagnostic status. Time significantly predicted decreases in symptom count, as assessed by clinical interview. This decrease was also replicated when examining two different self-reports that measured symptom experience over the past six months and past 18 months. Further, though symptoms differed in prevalence, they did not largely significantly differ in their rate of decline when measured through clinical interview. Analyses on individual symptom change in the self-reports to follow. These findings have implications both for the prognosis of patients and what can be stated about the structure of BPD.

Leah Emery
Wake Forest University

William Fleeson
Wake Forest University


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