Emotion regulation group therapy (ERGT) has shown promising results in several efficacy trials. However, it has not been evaluated outside a research setting. In order to increase the availability of empirically supported treatments for individuals with borderline personality disorder and deliberate self-harm, an evaluation of ERGT in routine clinical care was conducted with therapists of different professional backgrounds who had received brief intensive training in ERGT prior to trial onset.
Multi-site evaluation, using an uncontrolled open trial design with assessments at pretreatment, post-treatment and 6-month follow-up.
14 adult outpatient psychiatric clinics across Sweden.
Ninety-five women (mean age=25.1 years) with borderline personality disorder (both threshold and subthreshold) and repeated self-harm were enrolled in the study. Ninety-three per cent of participants completed the post-treatment assessment and 88% completed the follow-up assessment.
Primary outcome was self-harm frequency as measured with the Deliberate Self-Harm Inventory. Secondary outcomes included self-harm versatility, emotion dysregulation, other self-destructive behaviours, depression, anxiety, stress symptoms and interpersonal and vocational difficulties.
ERGT is an adjunctive, 14-week, acceptance-based behavioural group treatment that directly targets both self-harm and its proposed underlying mechanism of emotion dysregulation.
At post-treatment, intent-to-treat analyses revealed a significant improvement associated with a moderate effect size on the primary outcome of self-harm frequency (51%, reduction; Cohen's d=0.52, p
Cites: Am J Psychiatry. 2008 Apr;165(4):468-78 PMID 18281407