Employment interventions to assist people who experience borderline personality disorder: A scoping review

Jocelyn Kernot, Amy Baker, Candice Oster, Melissa Petrakis, Suzanne Dawson

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Employment is an important social determinant of health and is associated with positive health outcomes. However, individuals who have been diagnosed with borderline personality disorder (BPD) are significantly underrepresented in the workforce. Whilst there is an array of evidence based therapeutic interventions, there remains a gap in knowledge regarding the most effective ways to enhance employment outcomes for people with a diagnosis of BPD.
To explore employment interventions for people with BPD, map the available evidence and identify key concepts and knowledge gaps.
A scoping review was conducted to identify and map the relevant literature. Findings were summarised using a narrative approach. Consultation was provided by a reference group including peer support workers with lived experience of BPD and mental health clinicians.
Seven articles met the inclusion criteria, including non-randomised and case study/series designs and a randomised controlled trial protocol, with participant numbers generally low. All programmes combined a psychotherapeutic component with work related goals; however, there were notable differences in relation to the conceptual/theoretical approach of the psychotherapeutic component and delivery of the work-related components. Barriers and enablers to programme participation and success are explored.
This review provides important insights into the characteristics of vocational rehabilitation interventions for people diagnosed with BPD. The findings will inform the co-production of approaches to support people with BPD to engage in employment.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1845-1855
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Social Psychiatry
Issue number8
Early online date27 Jul 2023
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2023


  • Borderline personality disorder
  • employment
  • Individual Placement and Support
  • intervention
  • scoping review
  • vocational support


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