In 2012, I contacted you in regards to including a link to my survey on your website. I am writing to advise you of the outcome of this research. The survey aimed to explore the unique burden of carers or support persons for people with personality disorder as part of a larger PhD research project linked with the Project Air Strategy for Personality Disorders (www.projectairstrategy.org
Two publications arose from the results of the survey. I have included the abstracts (summary of the findings) and a link to the full articles below:
Supporting a person with personality disorder: A study of carer burden and well-being
Personality disorders are characterized by impaired interpersonal functioning. There are few studies and little data available using validated questionnaires on the impact of caring for a person with personality disorder. The 287 carers included in this study were administered the McLean Screening Instrument for Borderline Personality Disorder - Carer Version, Burden Assessment Scale, Grief Scale, Difficulties in Emotion Regulation Scale, Mental Health Inventory–5, and a qualitative question. Scores were compared to those of published comparison groups. Burden and grief were significantly higher than that reported by carers of persons with other serious mental illnesses. Carers endorsed symptoms consistent with mood, anxiety, and posttraumatic stress disorders.
A qualitative concept map highlighted the impact of caregiving on the interpersonal environment. Carers of persons with personality disorder report grieving their change in life and impairment in well-being. Carers are burdened, and appear more so than carers of persons with other serious mental illnesses. The results highlight the need for interventions to support carers.
This article can be located at: www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24689763
You can also view a presentation of these results: www.youtube.com/watch?v=e5HBHDWHIHQ
The relationship between expressed emotion and wellbeing for families and carers of a relative with Borderline Personality Disorder
Background – Previous research has found that family environments high in expressed emotion, in particular emotional overinvolvement, are beneficial to the clinical outcome of patients with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD).
Aim – This study aims to investigate the relationship between expressed emotion, carer burden and carer wellbeing.
Method – A total of 280 carers of a relative with BPD were administered the McLean Screening Instrument for BPD – Carer Version, The Family Questionnaire, Burden Assessment Scale and Mental Health Inventory.
Results – Carers reported family environments high in expressed emotion, particularly criticism (82.9% of carers) and emotional overinvolvement (69.6%). Elevated emotional overinvolvement was correlated with higher burden and mental health problems.
Conclusions – Elevated criticism and emotional overinvolvement in family environments represent a dynamic involving high conflict, anxious concern, overprotection and emotional closeness. The findings suggest that carers may benefit from intervention and support options considering the challenged interpersonal dynamic, burden and impaired carer wellbeing reported in this study.
This article can be located at: www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25195577
You can also view a powerpoint presentation of these results: ihmri.uow.edu.au/content/groups/public/@web/@ihmri/documents/doc/uow140677.pdf
We hope that these publications add to the international knowledge and appreciation of the carer struggle and increase support options offered to carers of persons with personality disorder.
Please do not hesitate to contact me should you require more information. As you may be aware, copyright issues restrict authors from sharing the full article on websites – however authors are able to send full articles to interested individuals. Therefore, if any of the bpdfamily carers would like a copy of the full articles, please have them contact me directly by email (email@example.com
) and I will reply with the articles as PDF’s.
Please also take the opportunity to view the Project Air Strategy website (www.projectairstrategy.org
) which contains information on latest research, conferences and events, and helpful resources for families and carers, consumers and mental health professionals that can be downloaded freely.
All the best
BA-Psych (Hons), PhD (Clinical Psychology) Candidate / Associate Research Fellow
Project Air Strategy for Personality Disorders