Efficacy of Mentalization-Based Group Therapy for Adolescents: A Pilot Randomised Controlled Trial

Organisation : CAMHS Tipperlinn, Royal Edinburgh Hospital
Grant Amount : £ 36,299
Project Dates : April 2016 to May 2019

Young people at risk of developing borderline personality disorder (BPD) experience significant distress and loss of social function in the context of emotion dysregulation, relationship problems and deliberate self-harm.

The evidence base for effective intervention for such emergent difficulties is sparse. We adapted a mentalization-based therapy manual originally developed for adults with BPD for our at risk adolescent population (MBT-A).

Early evaluation suggests this treatment is acceptable to adolescents and may result in reduced crisis presentations.

We now aim to establish its clinical efficacy through a pilot RCT comparing MBT-A to treatment as usual (TAU) to determine: effectiveness of recruitment strategies; compliance with protocol/procedures; trends towards reduced self-harm. Results will inform a definitive future RCT and potential for wider service implementation.