Dialectical behaviour therapy for treating adults and adolescents with emotional and behavioural dysregulation: study protocol of a coordinated implementation in a publicly funded health service
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Background: In the Republic of Ireland, borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a feature of approximately 11–20% of clinical presentations to outpatient clinics within mental health services. These estimates are similar to other countries including the UK and USA. Dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT) is an intervention with a growing body of evidence that demonstrates its efficacy in treating individuals diagnosed with BPD. While a number of randomised controlled trials (RCTs) have demonstrated the efficacy of DBT, there is limited research which evaluates the effectiveness of this model when applied to real world settings. Funding was secured to co-ordinate DBT training in public community-based mental health services across Ireland. As no other study has evaluated a co-ordinated national implementation of DBT, the current study proposes to investigate the effectiveness of DBT in both adult and child/adolescent community mental health services across Ireland, evaluate the coordinated implementation of DBT at a national level, and complete a comprehensive economic evaluation comparing DBT versus treatment-as-usual. Methods/ design: This study takes the form of a quasi-experimental design. Individuals attending community mental health services who meet criteria for participation in the DBT programme will be allocated to the intervention group. Individuals who live in areas in Ireland where DBT is not yet available, and individuals who choose not to participate in the intervention, will be invited to participate in a treatment-as-usual comparison group. Self-report clinical measures and health service use questionnaires for DBT participants (and parent/guardians as appropriate) will be administered at pre-, mid- and post-intervention, as well as follow-up for participants who complete the intervention. Survey and interview data for DBT therapists will be gathered at three time points: prior to DBT training, 6 months after teams begin delivery of the intervention, and 2 years following training completion. Discussion: It is anticipated that the results of this study will provide evidence for the effectiveness of DBT for patients, and report on recommendations regarding best practice guidelines for implementation of DBT and its economic merit in a publicly funded service. Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov ID: NCT03180541; Registered June 7th 2017 ‘retrospectively registered’.
Dialectical behaviour therapy , Borderline personality disorder , Effectiveness , Implementation , Economic cost , Adults , Adolescents , Public health service , Community settings
Flynn, D., Kells, M., Joyce, M., Suarez, C. and Gillespie, C. (2018) 'Dialectical behaviour therapy for treating adults and adolescents with emotional and behavioural dysregulation: study protocol of a coordinated implementation in a publicly funded health service', BMC Psychiatry, 18(1), 51. (11pp.) DOI: 10.1186/s40479-017-0070-8
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