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The impact of interpersonal style on aggression and treatment non-completion in patients with personality disorder admitted to a medium secure psychiatric unit

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The aim of this study was to examine the impact of interpersonal style and psychopathy on treatment non-completion and aggressive behaviour. Participants were patients with personality disorder admitted for treatment to a structured group program operating within a medium secure psychiatric hospital. Assessment of personality disorder and psychopathy occurred prior to admission. Interpersonal style was assessed on admission with the Impact Message Inventory (IMI), a self-report transactional inventory. Files were subsequently reviewed to determine whether patients were aggressive during their hospital stay and whether they were prematurely expelled from the unit and therefore did not complete treatment. Results showed that patients who completed treatment were more nurturing and help-seeking. Aggressive patients were more competitive and dominant. Psychopathy did not differentiate treatment completers from non-completers or aggressive from non-aggressive patients. Clinical implications and opportunities for further research are explored.

Keywords: aggression; interpersonal style; treatment non-completion

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Division of Psychiatry, School of Community Health Sciences, The University of Nottingham, Nottingham, UK 2: Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust, Nottingham, UK 3: Victorian Institute of Forensic Mental Health, Fairfield, Australia,Centre for Forensic Behavioural Science, School of Psychiatry, Psychology & Psychological Medicine, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia

Publication date: 2008-12-01

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