Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is common in patients with schizophrenia and has a negative effect on disease course and outcomes, study results show.
Previous research involving patients with affective disorders had shown that comorbid BPD has a significant negative impact on interpersonal functioning and affective stability, explain Amber Bahorik and Shaun Eack from the University of Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania, USA.
But they add: “Little is known about the prevalence of BPD in schizophrenia, and the degree to which BPD comorbidity portends a debilitating course in the disorder.”
To address this, the team studied 142 patients, aged 18-40 years, with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder who participated in the MacArthur Violence Risk Assessment Study, which was designed to assess the risk for violent behavior in mental health patients.
The participants were assessed at hospitalization (baseline) for BPD using the Structured Interview for DSM-III-Revised Personality (SIDP-R).
General psychopathology, and positive, negative, and affective symptoms were assessed at baseline and after 1 year using the Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale (BPRS), while functioning before and after follow-up was assessed using the Global Assessment of Functioning (GAF) and the Activities of Daily Living Scale (ADLS).
Overall, 17.6% of the participants tested positive for the presence of comorbid BPD - a significant proportion, say the researchers.