The personality disorder patient pathway: Service user and clinical perspectives

S. Flynn, J. Raphael, J. Graney, T. Nyathi, A. Williams, N. Kapur, L. Appleby, J. Shaw

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Aims: There have been recent policy developments and research into care provision for service users with personality disorder. However, few studies have focused on service user and staff perspectives on how services could be improved. Methods: A qualitative study was undertaken in the UK between 2016 and 2017. We conducted six focus groups with clinicians in mental health services with experience of working with people with personality disorder. Using an online survey, we asked current and past service users with personality disorder to describe their experiences of mental health services and make recommendations for improvements. A thematic analysis was conducted. Results: Forty-five clinicians participated in the focus group and 131 service users contributed to the online survey. The main areas of concern identified by both staff and patients were the diagnosis of personality disorder, the absence of a coherent care pathway, access to psychological treatment and staff training. Conclusions: The care pathway for individuals with personality disorder is unclear to clinicians and service users, and elements of the pathway are disjointed and not working as effectively as they could. Guidelines recommended by National Institute for Health and Care Excellence are not being followed. Specialist psychological interventions should be available to ensure consistent and stable care provision.

Original languageEnglish
JournalPersonality and Mental Health
Early online date20 May 2019
Publication statusPublished - 2019


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