This study examined the stability of comorbid personality disorder diagnoses once an outpatient’s depression remitted. The sample consisted of 75 outpatients who responded to treatment in an 8-week acute treatment phase for depression, who met criteria for remission throughout a 26-week continuation phase, and who completed a personality assessment (Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-III-R-axis II Disorders) at the beginning and at the end of each treatment phase. The authors found that after a major depressive disorder is successfully treated, personality disorder diagnoses remain stable across time during continuation treatment. Gender was the only potential predictor variable that was significant: the proportion of men who had a stable personality disorder diagnosis in cluster A or cluster B was significantly greater than the proportion of women who had a stable personality disorder diagnosis in these two clusters. Among women, those with any stable personality disorder had a significantly longer duration of the current major depressive disorder compared with those who never met criteria for any personality disorder; this was also true for women with a cluster C personality disorder diagnosis.
1Depression and Clinical Research Program, Department of Psychiatry, Massachusetts General Hospital, 15 Parkman Street, WAC 812, Boston, MA 02114; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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The study was supported by a National Institute of Mental Health grant #5R01MH48483-05.
This study was part of Dr. Farabaugh’s dissertation. Dr. Farabaugh would like to acknowledge her committee members, Drs. Barbara Okun, Emmanuel Mason, and David Mischoulon.