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Long-Term Course of Borderline Personality Disorder: A Prospective 10-Year Follow-Up Study

Published Online:https://doi.org/10.1521/pedi_2016_30_269

The aim of this prospective study was to expand previously reported evidence on the 10-year clinical and functional course of borderline personality disorder (BPD) in a Spanish sample. Participants diagnosed with BPD were assessed at baseline and at 10-year follow-up to evaluate BPD symptomatology and other relevant clinical measures, suicidal behavior, dimensional personality traits, Axis I and II comorbidity, use of mental health resources, and psychosocial functioning. At the 10-year follow up, significant improvements were observed on BPD domains, suicidal behavior, and other clinical measures. Neuroticism, impulsiveness, and aggression-hostility features trended toward normalization, whereas activity and sociability were impaired over time. Comorbidity with Axis I and personality disorders remained high. Social functioning and occupational functioning were largely unchanged. These findings confirm the tendency toward a symptomatic remission of BPD over the long term with regard to symptom criteria and characteristic dimensional traits. However, psychosocial functioning remains impaired.