Day Treatment for Personality Disorders: A Review of Research Findings
AbstractDay treatment, a form of partial hospitalization, may have unique advantages in the care of patients with personality disorders. It appears to offer a favorable level of intensiveness and containment, thus facilitating treatment of the chronic emotional and behavioral difficulties experienced by these individuals. Although several authors have written about the appropriateness of day treatment for personality disorder patients, empirical support has been slow to accumulate. More recently, greater research attention has been focused on this question. This review examines the current research. The findings suggest that day treatment is effective for this difficult patient population and that it is more effective than standard treatment (i.e., medication and support). Preliminary evidence indicates that day treatment may lead to a reduction in future health-services costs. Some findings also show that day treatment may be particularly beneficial for certain patients--for example, those who are more psychologically minded. Implications of these findings for clinical practice are considered. Limitations in our current approach to research in this area are highlighted, and recommendations for future study are provided.