This site became the new on June 19th. Learn more.
Show more Menu IMPORTANT: Listing of a study on this site does not reflect endorsement by the National Institutes of Health. Talk with a trusted healthcare professional before volunteering for a study. Read more... Menu IMPORTANT: Talk with a trusted healthcare professional before volunteering for a study. Read more... Menu
Give us feedback

Comparing Treatments for Self-Injury and Suicidal Behavior in People With Borderline Personality Disorder

The recruitment status of this study is unknown. The completion date has passed and the status has not been verified in more than two years.
Verified September 2013 by New York State Psychiatric Institute.
Recruitment status was:  Recruiting
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
New York State Psychiatric Institute Identifier:
First received: February 2, 2009
Last updated: September 25, 2013
Last verified: September 2013
This study will compare the effectiveness of two treatments, dialectical behavior therapy versus fluoxetine with clinical management, for reducing the risk of self-injury and suicidal behavior in people with borderline personality disorder.

Condition Intervention Phase
Borderline Personality Disorder Suicide Drug: Fluoxetine Behavioral: DBT Drug: Citalopram Phase 4

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Single Blind (Investigator)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: Treating Suicidal Behavior and Self-Mutilation in Borderline Personality Disorder: Predictors of Change

Resource links provided by NLM:

Further study details as provided by New York State Psychiatric Institute:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • Suicidal and self-injurious behavior [ Time Frame: Measured after 6 months of treatment ]

Estimated Enrollment: 120
Study Start Date: March 2009
Estimated Study Completion Date: August 2015
Estimated Primary Completion Date: August 2015 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Arms Assigned Interventions
Active Comparator: 1
Participants will receive fluoxetine with clinical management, which may involve switching medication to citalopram, another SSRI.
Drug: Fluoxetine
Starting dose of 20 mg daily will increase over 4 weeks, depending on tolerability, up to 40 mg daily. Treatment will last 6 months.
Other Name: Prozac
Drug: Citalopram
Dose set by study psychiatrist, up to 60 mg daily. Treatment will last 6 months.
Other Name: Celexa
Active Comparator: 2
Participants will receive dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT).
Behavioral: DBT
One 60-minute individual therapy session and one 90-minute group therapy session every week. Treatment will last 6 months.

Detailed Description:

Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a chronic disorder in emotional regulation and is characterized by instability in self-image, mood, relationships, and behavior. People suffering from BPD have a high rate of self-injury and suicide attempts. This study will compare the effectiveness of two treatments for preventing self-injury and suicide in people with BPD: dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) and fluoxetine with clinical management. DBT is a behavioral therapy that teaches new coping skills to replace old strategies, including self-injury and attempted suicide. Fluoxetine is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) medication that has been used to treat BPD. Clinical management of fluoxetine, which is involved in administering the medication under normal conditions, refers to regular visits with a psychiatrist who will monitor medication effectiveness and side effects. Clinical management in this study may include adjusting the dosage of fluoxetine or prescribing a change in medication to citalopram, another SSRI.

Participation in this study will last 12 months, including all follow-up assessments. During the first study visit, participants will undergo baseline testing and be randomly assigned to receive either DBT or fluoxetine with clinical management. After a washout period, in which participants will transition off any medications they are currently taking, participants will receive 6 months of their assigned treatment. Participants receiving DBT will attend one 60-minute individual therapy session and one 90-minute group session every week. Participants assigned to the fluoxetine with clinical management condition will begin receiving 20 mg of fluoxetine daily and have their dose increased over the course of 4 weeks, based on tolerance, up to 40 mg. Participants assigned to fluoxetine may also be switched to citalopram, if the study psychiatrist thinks it will be more effective. Participants assigned to either fluoxetine or citalopram will undergo monthly blood tests to monitor the level of medication in their bodies.

Every 2 weeks, participants will undergo assessments of treatment effectiveness and side effects. After 2, 4, 6, 9, and 12 months, participants will undergo various neuropsychological tests and clinical interviews and self-report questionnaires about mood and life experiences. At study entry and at Weeks 12 and 24, participants will use a handheld computer to complete a week-long assessment of emotions. Fully healthy female participants will be asked to complete a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scan, which will assess their ability to regulate emotions at the neural level. The fMRI scan and a stress test (for both men and women) will be performed at baseline and after 6 months.


Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years to 65 Years   (Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Meets DSM-IV criteria for borderline personality disorder (BPD)
  • Attempted suicide in the past 2 months
  • At least one additional suicide attempt, suicide-related behavior, or self-injury episode in the past year
  • Current suicidal ideation
  • Able to be managed as an outpatient
  • Not currently receiving optimum psychiatric treatment and agrees to notify study staff if any psychiatric care outside this study is sought. If care other than that permitted by the protocol is utilized, participants can no longer be enrolled in the study.
  • Has a stable living arrangement at study entry
  • Speaks English
  • Willing and judged to be clinically able to undergo wash-out of psychotropic medications, except for occasional benzodiazepine use, for 2 to 6 weeks before treatment
  • Females must be willing to use an effective method of birth control.

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Meets the DSM-IV criteria for mental retardation or the following disorders: bipolar I, schizophrenia, delusional disorder, schizophreniform disorder, schizoaffective disorder, or psychotic disorder not otherwise specified (NOS)
  • Needs priority treatment for acute medical illness or other debilitating problem, such as severe substance dependence or anorexia
  • Pregnant
  • Clinically too unstable to be maintained as an outpatient
  • Has clearly failed adequate trials of fluoxetine and citalopram for a major depression in the past 2 years
  • History of severe allergies, adverse drug reactions, or known allergy to fluoxetine or citalopram
  • Clinically inadvisable for the participant to end current treatment
  • Heart pacemaker body implant; other metal implants, such as shrapnel or surgical prostheses; or paramagnetic objects contained within the body, as assessed via a metal screening questionnaire, which may present a risk to the participant or interfere with the fMRI scan
  • Diagnosed with Raynaud's disorder
  • History of hypertension, cardiovascular disease, or abnormal electrocardiograms (EKGs)
  • Claustrophobia or significant discomfort in enclosed space
  Contacts and Locations
Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the Contacts provided below. For general information, see Learn About Clinical Studies.

Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT00834834

Contact: Barbara H. Stanley, PhD 212-543-5918

United States, New York
New York State Psychiatric Institute Recruiting
New York, New York, United States, 10032
Contact: Barbara H. Stanley, PhD    212-543-5918   
Sponsors and Collaborators
New York State Psychiatric Institute
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Principal Investigator: Barbara H. Stanley, PhD New York State Psychiatric Institute
  More Information

Responsible Party: New York State Psychiatric Institute Identifier: NCT00834834     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: #5752/6777R
R01MH061017 ( U.S. NIH Grant/Contract )
R01MH061017-06A2 ( U.S. NIH Grant/Contract )
Study First Received: February 2, 2009
Last Updated: September 25, 2013

Keywords provided by New York State Psychiatric Institute:
Suicidal and Self-Injurious Behavior

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Personality Disorders
Borderline Personality Disorder
Pathologic Processes
Self-Injurious Behavior
Behavioral Symptoms
Mental Disorders
Serotonin Uptake Inhibitors
Neurotransmitter Uptake Inhibitors
Membrane Transport Modulators
Molecular Mechanisms of Pharmacological Action
Neurotransmitter Agents
Serotonin Agents
Physiological Effects of Drugs
Antidepressive Agents, Second-Generation
Antidepressive Agents
Psychotropic Drugs
Cytochrome P-450 CYP2D6 Inhibitors
Cytochrome P-450 Enzyme Inhibitors
Enzyme Inhibitors
Antiparkinson Agents
Anti-Dyskinesia Agents
Autonomic Agents
Peripheral Nervous System Agents
Muscarinic Antagonists processed this record on August 16, 2017