Attitudes of staff towards patients with personality disorder in community mental health teams

Newton-Howes, Giles, Weaver, Tim ORCID: and Tyrer, Peter (2008) Attitudes of staff towards patients with personality disorder in community mental health teams. The Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 42 (7) . pp. 572-577. ISSN 0004-8674 [Article] (doi:10.1080/00048670802119739)


The purpose of the present paper was to assess the attitudes of clinicians working with personality disordered patients.
Secondary analysis of the Comorbidity of Substance Misuse and Mental Illness Collaborative (COSMIC) data set was undertaken using a priori hypothesis testing. The null hypothesis was that there would be no measurable difference between the attitudes of mental health professionals toward patients with a clinical diagnosis of personality disorder and those with an instrument-rated diagnosis of personality disorder. The potential confounders of global psychopathology, need, social functioning and documented aggression were assessed as possible reasons explaining a rejection of the null hypothesis.
Clinicians believed those with the clinical diagnostic label of personality disorder to be more difficult to manage than personality-disordered patients identified by a research tool who did not carry this label. These attitudes were not explained by the potential confounders of psychopathology, social morbidity or acts of aggression.
An awareness of a personality disorder diagnosis is associated with a clinician belief that patients will be harder to manage. Objective measures of potential confounders do not explain why this group should be harder to manage. One explanation of this finding is that the label ‘personality disorder’ is stigmatizing. This may also explain the disparity between clinical and research assessments of personality disorder.

Item Type: Article
Research Areas: A. > School of Health and Education > Mental Health, Social Work and Interprofessional Learning
Item ID: 28340
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Depositing User: Timothy Weaver
Date Deposited: 02 Dec 2019 12:18
Last Modified: 24 Aug 2021 02:59

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