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Professional attitudes towards deliberate self-harm in patients with borderline personality disorder

Treloar, A.J.C. and Lewis, A.J. (2008) Professional attitudes towards deliberate self-harm in patients with borderline personality disorder. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 42 (7). pp. 578-584.

Link to Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00048670802119796
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Abstract

Objective: The aim of the present study was to assess the attitudes of mental health and emergency medicine clinicians towards patients diagnosed with borderline personality disorder. The clinician gender, primary occupation and service setting, level of university training and years of experience, frequency of clinical contact, and completion of specific training in borderline personality disorder were expected to influence the attitudes of health professionals towards working with borderline patients that engage in self-harm.

Method: A purpose-designed questionnaire and an assessment tool to quantify attitudinal levels were used to collect demographic information and assess the attitudes of 140 mental health and emergency medicine practitioners across two Australian health services and a New Zealand health service.

Results: Statistically and clinically significant differences were found between emergency medical staff and mental health clinicians in their attitudes towards working with borderline personality disorder. The strongest predictor of attitudes was whether the clinician worked in emergency medicine or mental health. This was followed by years of experience and specific training in personality disorders as significant predictors of attitudes to self-harm.

Conclusions: The implications of these findings for the professional training of clinicians in the management and treatment of borderline personality disorder patients are discussed.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Publisher: Sage Publications
Copyright: © 2008 The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/30863
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