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Running a mentalization-based treatment (MBT) programme within a public community adult mental health service setting: a feasibility study

  • D. Beattie (a1), S. Murphy (a1), S. Jamieson (a1) and A. Lee (a1)
Abstract
Objectives:

This article aimed to address the feasibility of mentalization-based treatment (MBT) for patients with personality disorder in a non-specialist setting. The development and implementation of an MBT Programme is described.

Methods:

A multidisciplinary Consult Group met to plan the implementation of the programme. Participants attended a psychoeducation group (MBT Introductory Group), then weekly individual and group therapy. Fourteen participants started the full programme with eight completing at least 9 months, complete data are available for five participants who completed 27 months (first cohort) and 21 months (second cohort). Data include quantitative measures and qualitative questionnaires/interviews. All had a diagnosis of personality dysfunction with co-morbid disorder including anxiety/depressive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder and eating disorder.

Results:

Data on five participants revealed reductions in global level of distress, improvements in psychological well-being, less interpersonal difficulties and better work and social functioning. Qualitative data from feedback questionnaires (n = 18) and in-depth interview (n = 2) are discussed under the themes of mentalizing, treatment feedback/outcomes and group factors. Therapist reflections on the process identify the challenges involved in implementing a specialist psychotherapy programme within a general service and learning points from this are discussed.

Conclusions:

MBT is an acceptable treatment for patients with personality dysfunction. Prior to the implementation of a programme, factors at the therapist, team and organizational level, as well as the wider context, need to be examined. This is to ensure that conditions are in place for proper adherence to the model to achieve the positive outcomes demonstrated in the RCT studies.

Copyright
Corresponding author
*Address for correspondence: S. Murphy (DClin), HSE Kildare/West Wicklow Mental Health Service, St. Mary’s, Naas, Kildare, Ireland (Email: sile.murphy1@hse.ie)
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Irish Journal of Psychological Medicine
  • ISSN: 0790-9667
  • EISSN: 2051-6967
  • URL: /core/journals/irish-journal-of-psychological-medicine
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