Diagnosis of personality disorder in clinical practice

by Professor Patricia Casey 


Last updated: May 2012


Personality disorder is a common diagnosis, yet one that is also stigmatising.


It is often associated with therapeutic nihilism and used as a justification for avoiding hospital admission.


However, there is a substantial body of research pointing to the inferior treatment response and poorer prognosis of mental state disorders, such as depression or schizophrenia, associated with co-occurring personality disorder.


It is thus crucially important that a diagnosis of personality disorder is made with the greatest of caution, carrying, as it does, major therapeutic implications.  


This module will present information on the prevalence of personality disorder in a variety of clinical settings as well as in the general population. It will also detail the common pitfalls of assessment and offer assistance in overcoming these.


Finally, the reader will be introduced to questionnaires and interview schedules that are used in diagnosing personality disorder. 


Start the module 



Please note: This module was last updated in 2012. Please be aware when completing the module that some of the guidance may have changed.


If you are interested in updating this material, please contact us.



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