Experiences of care by Australians with a diagnosis of borderline personality disorder

Sharon Lawn, Janne McMahon

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    32 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Accessible summary: Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a complex and challenging mental health condition for the person and service providers who support them. This paper reports on the results of a survey of 153 people with a diagnosis of BPD about their experiences of attempting to receive support in managing this mental health condition. It provides their perceptions of a range of experiences not reported in the existing literature, including general practitioner roles, urban and rural differences, public and private hospital differences, and comparison of usefulness of support across multiple support types. People with a diagnosis of BPD continue to experience significant discrimination when attempting to get their needs met within both public and private health services. Further education for nurses and other health professionals is indicated to address pervasive negative attitudes towards people with a diagnosis of BPD. There is limited understanding of the experience of seeking and receiving treatment and care by people with a diagnosis of borderline personality disorder (BPD), their perceptions of barriers to care and the quality of services they receive. This study aimed to explore these experiences from the perspective of Australians with this diagnosis. An invitation to participate in an online survey was distributed across multiple consumer and carer organizations and mental health services, by the Private Mental Health Consumer Carer Network (Australia) in 2011. Responses from 153 people with a diagnosis of BPD showed that they experience significant challenges and discrimination when attempting to get their needs met within both public and private health services, including general practice. Seeking help from hospital emergency departments during crises was particularly challenging. Metropolitan and rural differences, and gender differences, were also apparent. Community supports were perceived as inadequate to meet their needs. This study provides data on a range of experiences not reported in existing literature, including general practitioner roles, urban and rural differences, public and private hospital differences, and comparison of usefulness of support across multiple support types. Its findings can help inform better training for health professionals and better care for this population.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)510-521
    Number of pages12
    JournalJournal of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing
    Volume22
    Issue number7
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2015

    Keywords

    • Borderline personality disorder
    • General practice
    • Mental health services
    • Mental illness
    • Self-harm
    • Service user/consumer perspective

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