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Personality disorder: a new screening instrument with easy application

Julia Lange (University Osnabrück), Christian Geiser (Utah State University) and colleagues evaluated a new screening instrument for personality disorders - a self-administered screening questionnaire that includes 12 items from the Personality Self Portrait. The authors conclude in Psychological Test and Assessment Modeling: The "Personality Disorder Screening (PDS) shows promise as a new instrument for identifying different classes of personality disorder severity already at the screening stage of the diagnostic process."

"Despite the fact that personality disorders are the most prevalent psychiatric disorder and that the individuals with this disorder have a high level of health service contact, personality pathology is often underdiagnosed. As a consequence, many patients do not receive adequate and targeted interventions for personality disorders. Moreover, diagnosing a cooccuring personality disorder in patients with an axis I disorder is very important. Psychotherapy research has shown that personality disorders can reduce the effectiveness of axis I treatments under specific circumstances. Even if therapy only addresses the axis I disorder it is essential to take a possible personality disorder diagnosis into account in order to enhance the treatment outcome and to avoid complications or deteriorating effects.

Considering these facts the assessment of personality disorder should be an essential part of each psychiatric examination," Julia Lange and colleagues emphasize.

They found: The new Personality Disorder Screening (PDS) "makes its application very easy. Furthermore, it requires no specifically trained interviewer. We found support for the model of Gunderson et al., which proposes different classes of personality disorder severity and impairment. Results of our current study indicated that a 4-class solution fitted the data best and allowed for a reliable and valid classification of individuals ..."

Psychological Test and Assessment Modeling 2012-4