This study states that Even though dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) has received substantial empirical support in treating patients with borderline personality disorder (BPD), fewer studies have evaluated whether a brief DBT skills group may be effective in improving clinical outcomes in this population. Further, less is known regarding the feasibility and outcomes of DBT beyond Euro-American contexts. This paper describes outcomes from a pilot study examining the feasibility, acceptability, and clinical outcomes following completion of a shortened, 14-week DBT skills group in a sample of Muslim-majority BPD patients in Malaysia.

Twenty patients were recruited from a public hospital and attended DBT skills groups in an outpatient clinic. Participants completed measures assessing psychological symptoms, self-harm behaviors, suicidal ideation, emotion regulation difficulties, self-compassion, and well-being pre- and post-intervention.

There were significant reductions in depressive symptoms, stress, and emotion regulation difficulties, as well as increases in self-compassion and well-being from pre- to post-intervention. A trend was found for decreases in frequency and types of non-suicidal self-harm behaviors, suicidal ideation, and anxiety symptoms. Qualitative content analyses of participants’ feedback indicated that the vast majority of participants perceived a positive impact from the skills group, with mindfulness and distress tolerance being rated frequently as skills that were beneficial.

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