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Efficacy of Transference-Focused Psychotherapy for Borderline Personality Disorder

This study has been completed.
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
doerings, University Hospital Muenster Identifier:
First received: July 9, 2008
Last updated: February 4, 2015
Last verified: February 2015
The purpose of this study is to find out whether Transference-Focused Psychotherapy (TFP) is effective in the treatment of Borderline Personality Disorder.

Condition Intervention
Borderline Personality Disorder Behavioral: Transference-Focused Psychotherapy Behavioral: treatment by experienced community psychotherapists

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Single (Outcomes Assessor)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: A Randomized-Controlled Trial of Transference-Focused Psychotherapy vs. Treatment by Experienced Community Psychotherapists for Borderline Personality Disorder

Resource links provided by NLM:

Further study details as provided by doerings, University Hospital Muenster:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • Drop-out [ Time Frame: 1 year ]
    Did not finish one year of treatment.

  • Suicidality (Suicide Attempts) [ Time Frame: 1 year ]

Secondary Outcome Measures:
  • Psychosocial Functioning (Global Assessment of Functioning, GAF-Score) [ Time Frame: 1 year ]
  • Level of Personality Organization (Structured Interview for Personality Organization, STIPO) [ Time Frame: 1 year ]
  • Number of Self-harming Acts [ Time Frame: 1 year ]
  • Self-assessment of Psychopathology (BDI, STAI, BSI) [ Time Frame: 1 year ]
  • Attachment Style and Reflective Function (Adult Attachment Interview, AAI) [ Time Frame: 1 year ]
  • Borderline Symptomatology (DSM-IV Criteria) [ Time Frame: 1 month ]

Enrollment: 104
Study Start Date: October 2004
Study Completion Date: February 2015
Primary Completion Date: February 2009 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Arms Assigned Interventions
Active Comparator: TFP
Transference-Focused Psychotherapy
Behavioral: Transference-Focused Psychotherapy
Outpatient psychotherapy according to the treatment manual, sessions of 50 minutes twice per week
Active Comparator: ECP
treatment by experienced community psychotherapists
Behavioral: treatment by experienced community psychotherapists
Outpatient psychotherapy in private practices or outpatient units of psychiatric hospitals. Licensed psychotherapists with experience and special interest in the treatment of borderline patients are treating according to the method they have learned.

Detailed Description:

Borderline personality disorder represents a sever clinical condition that affects 1-2% of the community and is characterized by a pervasive instability of interpersonal relationships, self-image, and affects, as well as a marked impulsivity; up to 10% of the patients commit suicide.

Transference-Focused Psychotherapy (TFP) is one psychotherapeutic approach among five that have been manualized and evaluated in RCTs. So far, TFP has not been compared to a control condition which is a crucial step in the evaluation of the efficacy of a psychosocial intervention.

This study is an RCT that compares one year of outpatient TFP to treatment by experienced community psychotherapists for borderline personality disorder.


Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years to 45 Years   (Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   Female
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Written informed consent to the participation in the study
  • Diagnosis of BPD according to DSM-IV as assessed using the SCID-II
  • Age between 18 and 45 years
  • Sufficient knowledge of the German language

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Diagnosis of schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, severe substance abuse, organic pathology, or mental retardation according to DSM-IV as assessed using the SCID-I
  • Diagnosis of antisocial personality disorder according to DSM-IV as assessed using the SCID-II
  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: NCT00714311

Dept. of Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy, Medical University Vienna
Vienna, Austria, 1090
Dept. of Psychiatry, Technical University of Munich
Munich, Bavaria, Germany, 81675
Sponsors and Collaborators
University Hospital Muenster
Principal Investigator: Stephan Doering, MD University of Muenster, Germany
  More Information

Publications automatically indexed to this study by Identifier (NCT Number):
Responsible Party: doerings, Univ.-Prof. Dr. med., University Hospital Muenster Identifier: NCT00714311     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: 1106/04
Study First Received: July 9, 2008
Results First Received: February 4, 2015
Last Updated: February 4, 2015

Keywords provided by doerings, University Hospital Muenster:
borderline personality disorder
randomized controlled trial
Transference-Focused Psychotherapy
treatment by experienced community psychotherapists

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Personality Disorders
Borderline Personality Disorder
Pathologic Processes
Mental Disorders processed this record on September 21, 2017