Prevalence and course of sexual relationship difficulties in recovered and non-recovered patients with borderline personality disorder over 16years of prospective follow-up

E. Karan, Elly Niesten, F.R. Frankenburg, Garrett M. Fitzmaurice, M.C. Zanarini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Although borderline patients experience a wide range of sexual problems, including promiscuity, there is less evidence documenting their sexual relationship difficulties. This study had two aims. The first was to examine the prevalence of these difficulties (i.e. avoidance of sex and being symptomatic after sex) over 16years of prospective follow-up among recovered and non-recovered patients with borderline personality disorder (BPD). The second was to determine time-to-remission, recurrence and new onset of these sexual relationship difficulties. The sexual relationship difficulties of 290 patients meeting both DIB-R and DSM-III-R criteria for BPD were assessed at baseline using the Abuse History Interview and reassessed every two years over eight waves of prospective follow-up. The prevalence of sexual relationship difficulties declined significantly over time for both groups of patients, while remaining significantly more common among non-recovered patients. By 16-year follow-up, over 95% of each group achieved remission for both types of difficulties. Recurrences of avoidance of sex were significantly more common in non-recovered patients. Non-recovered patients had higher rates of new onsets compared to recovered patients for each type of sexual relationship difficulty. Taken together, the results suggest that sexual relationship difficulties are not chronic for those with BPD regardless of recovery status. Copyright (c) 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)232–243
Number of pages12
JournalPersonality and Mental Health
Volume10
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2016

Keywords

  • II COMPARISON SUBJECTS
  • TEST-RETEST RELIABILITY
  • DIAGNOSTIC INTERVIEW
  • ABUSE
  • PSYCHOPATHOLOGY
  • INTERRATER
  • INPATIENTS
  • BEHAVIOR
  • HISTORY
  • IMPACT

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