Latent profiles of patients with borderline pathology based on the alternative DSM-5 model for personality disorders.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Borderline Personal Disord Emot Dysregul, Volume 8, Issue 1, p.4 (2021)


<p><b>BACKGROUND: </b>There have been multiple attempts to try to parse out heterogeneity within borderline pathology by identifying patient subtypes; thus far, these works have yielded few consistent results. Recent developments in the operationalization of borderline pathology may provide new opportunities to identify clinically and conceptually meaningful subgroups of patients. The Alternative DSM-5 Model for Personality Disorders (AMPD) offers a categorical-dimensional operationalization of Borderline personality disorder (BPD) that has yet to be tested for identification of patient subgroups. The purpose of the present study is to test whether the combination of the Criterion A elements (pertaining to level of severity) and the seven pathological facets from Criterion B that define BPD in the AMPD can yield meaningful patient profiles.</p><p><b>METHODS: </b>A total of 211 outpatients from a specialized PD treatment program (133 women, Mage = 33.66, SD = 10.97) were selected based on the presence of at least moderate borderline pathology according to cutoffs recently proposed for the Borderline Symptom List-23. Valid Criterion A (Self and Interpersonal Functioning Scale) and B (Personality Inventory for DSM-5 Faceted Brief Form) self-reports were administered to measure elements and facets that define BPD in the AMPD model; these variables were used as indicators in a latent profile analysis (LPA).</p><p><b>RESULTS: </b>The optimal solution generated by LPA yielded four distinct profiles: (a) Borderline traits; (b) Moderate pathology with Impulsivity; (c) Moderate pathology with Identity problems and Depressivity; and (d) Severe pathology. Clinically meaningful distinctions emerged among profiles on AMPD indicators and external variables relevant to PD, especially aggression and impulsivity.</p><p><b>CONCLUSIONS: </b>Profiles reflected both the "severity" and "style" components imbedded within Criterion A and B of the AMPD, as they were mainly distinguished by a continuum of severity but also by some meaningful qualitative differences that may have important clinical implications for treatment planning and contracting. Results also suggest that the four Criterion A elements have independent value to identify important differences in patients with borderline pathology. They also highlight that some Criterion B facets that define BPD in the AMPD may be especially important to identify subgroups of patients, mainly Impulsivity and Depressivity.</p>

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