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Autistic traits in mentalization-based treatment for concurrent borderline personality disorder and substance use disorder: Secondary analyses of a randomized controlled feasibility study
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Public Health Sciences. University Hospital, LMU Munich, Germany.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-4313-1011
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Public Health Sciences. Karolinska Institutet, Sweden.
Number of Authors: 32020 (English)In: Scandinavian Journal of Psychology, ISSN 0036-5564, E-ISSN 1467-9450Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

Autism is suggested to be a dimensional construct and often represents a comorbid state. However, research on the clinical implications of the presence of autistic traits is scarce. This study aimed to investigate the impact of subclinical autistic traits in mentalization-based treatment (MBT) for concurrent borderline personality disorder (BPD) and substance use disorder (SUD). Based on the data of a randomized controlled feasibility study by Philips, Wennberg, Konradsson, and Franck (2018), secondary analyses were conducted. It was tested, if patients' (N = 46) levels of autistic traits were associated with treatment outcome measured in the course of and after treatment using interviews and self-report measures. Participants' autistic traits were not associated with the change in the severity of BPD throughout and at the end of the treatment. However, results showed associations between autistic traits and the change in patients' consumption of alcohol in the course of MBT. Furthermore, there was an association between autistic traits and the change in mentalizing capacity at the end of MBT, indicating that elevated autistic traits were associated with an improvement in mentalizing capacity. Autistic traits on a subclinical level do not appear to be a complicating factor in MBT for concurrent BPD and SUD. On the contrary, in terms of mentalizing capacity autistic traits might be associated with a larger potential for improvement or facilitate treatment outcome. Further research is needed to explore the role of higher autistic traits in treatment of this special patient group.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2020.
Keywords [en]
Autism spectrum disorder, autistic traits, substance use disorder, borderline personality disorder, treatment outcome
National Category
Psychology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-177442DOI: 10.1111/sjop.12595ISI: 000502977600001PubMedID: 31840273OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-177442DiVA, id: diva2:1387702
Available from: 2020-01-22 Created: 2020-01-22 Last updated: 2020-01-23

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Kaltenegger, Helena C.Philips, BjörnWennberg, Peter
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