Consumer perspective from people with a diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) on BPD management—How are the Australian NHMRC BPD guidelines faring in practice?

Jessica Margot Proctor, Sharon Lawn, Janne McMahon

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Abstract

What is known on the subject?: Internationally, stigma towards people with mental illness has reduced due to greater understanding, education and advocacy in the community, and more focus on recovery-oriented care within practice guidelines. However, many people with a diagnosis of BPD continue to experience stigma and difficulty accessing health services. Contributing factors include lack of understanding of BPD and effective management by health professionals, stigma from the general population and within healthcare services, and financial and geographical barriers. Mental health nurses comprise a large part of the healthcare workforce responsible for the day-to-day care of people diagnosed with BPD. What the paper adds to existing knowledge: This paper investigates how Australian consumer perspectives on BPD management have changed over time. Comments from a large survey, delivered to consumers in 2011 (N = 153) and 2017 (N = 424), were analysed for common themes. Themes were broadly related to NHMRC BPD Guidelines sections released in 2013. These data sets therefore present an opportunity to evaluate changes in consumer perspectives pre- and post-Guideline release. Although no direct causal relationship can be drawn, analysing these changes can potentially assist with understanding the impact of the Guidelines in practice. No such analysis of the Australian Guidelines has been conducted to date in the existing literature. What are the implications for practice?: Many people diagnosed with BPD continue to experience stigma, barriers to treatment and difficulty accessing appropriate services. Widespread practical implementation of the Guidelines was not apparent; however, improved general awareness and understanding of BPD from consumers and health professionals were evident. Improved education and practice across each and all aspects of the Guidelines are indicated. The Guidelines need review to ensure they are in-line with current evidence-based practice, as well as effective health professional education, support and funding to embed the revised Guidelines into practice. Abstract: Introduction Internationally, many individuals diagnosed with BPD continue to experience stigma within health care and are more likely to be viewed as manipulative and evoke negative responses from clinicians, compared with other mental health consumers. Aim/Question To understand Australian consumer perspectives regarding BPD management, and how these have changed between 2011 and 2017. To comment on how NHMRC BPD Guidelines, released 2013, are faring in practice. Method Individuals who identified a BPD diagnosis completed a 75-question survey, delivered online Australia-wide, in 2011 (N = 153) and 2017 (N = 424), providing comparative data sets to evaluate changes in consumer perspective on BPD management. Results Many people diagnosed with BPD experience difficulties when seeking help, stigma within health services and barriers to treatment. Improved general awareness, communication and understanding of BPD from consumers and health professionals were evident. Discussion Consumers demonstrated increased BPD-literacy and help-seeking behaviours in 2017, providing opportunity for health professionals to build stronger therapeutic relationships. Widespread practical implementation of the Guidelines does not appear to have been achieved. More health professional education, updated Guidelines, funding and strategies to embed these Guidelines into practice are needed. Implications for Practice Mental health nurses regularly provide care to people diagnosed with BPD; with practical education and support, they and other health professionals can improve their confidence in practice and provide better quality care to consumers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)670-681
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing
Volume28
Issue number4
Early online date17 Nov 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2021

Keywords

  • Borderline Personality Disorder
  • health services delivery
  • patient experience
  • quality of care
  • stigma

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