Psychology and Psychotherapy: Theory, Research and Practice

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Volume 73 Issue 2 (June 2000), Pages 145-288

Hospital adjustment in personality disorder patients admitted to a therapeutic community milieu (pages 259-267)

This study investigated aspects of adjustment to the therapeutic community milieu in a group of personality disorder patients. Eighty‐one patients consecutively admitted to the Cassel Hospital for medium/long‐term residential treatment between April 1994 and October 1997 comprised the sample. The adjustment to the milieu was rated on the Hospital Adjustment Scale, while outcome was evaluated at 6‐monthly intervals using a battery of self‐rated and rater‐based instruments. The aims of the study were: (a) to identify demographic and pre‐admission clinical variables that would predict adjustment to the therapeutic regime; (b) to study the relationship between hospital adjustment and external social adjustment; and (c) to investigate the hypothesis that hospital adjustment and internally and externally directed aggression do not predict clinical outcome. The results showed that pre‐admission level of global functioning and a previous history of substance misuse are the most significant predictors of hospital adjustment. No significant association between hospital adjustment and external social adjustment was found. Neither hospital adjustment nor level of aggressiveness predicted outcome at 12 months. The implications of these results for therapeutic community treatment of personality disorder are discussed.

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