Borderline Personality Disorder Sample Paper

Borderline Personality Disorder Sample Paper

Research is essential for the advancement of any discipline in academia. As such, anyone undertaking research activities should be able to understand the basics of doing any search of the literature. There are numerous online databases in which one can get work published on similar topics of interest, for a comprehensive literature review. The PICOT format helps in making the search process more effective and conceptualized as one prepares the materials or guidelines that are appropriate for review. My area of interest is in mental health, more so concerning personality disorders. I chose to review literature about borderline personality disorder. This discussion focuses on how to transform my clinical-based inquiry around borderline personality disorder (BPD) into an answerable PICOT question.

According to Geddes and Andreasen (2020), borderline personality disorder mostly presents in the form of pervasive patterns of impulsivity and unstable relationships that affects self-image and behaviors. The preferred treatment mechanism for BPD, according to Ganti (2018), is Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), which is a composite of cognitive-behavioral therapy, mindfulness skills, as well as group therapy. Other literature also cites the use of pharmacotherapy intervention in treating psychotic or depressive symptoms (Hutsebaut et al., 2019; Riffer et al., 2019). Bearing in mind the afore-mentioned finding, I had to frame a composite question that would be the basis of my clinical inquiry, namely, that in patients suffering from borderline personality disorder (P), does the use of CBT (I) compared to pharmacologic treatment (C), result in improved socio-occupational functioning (O), over a six-month period (T).

Personality disorders are generally difficult to treat due to lack of insight, and pharmacologic treatment has limited usefulness, thus psychotherapy is the mainstay of treatment (Ganti, 2018). Currently, the management of most psychological conditions is largely through pharmacotherapy, psychotherapy, or a combination of both. When designing the PICOT question, I had to consider the appropriateness of vocabulary use. According to Palaskar (2017), one should gauge the search results as per the articles found in the initial search and analyze their level of appropriateness. This is one strategy that I can leverage to increase the preciseness, effectiveness, and rigor of my database search. The searches should be adaptable to peculiarities and rules of the databases being searched.

Often, when analyzing a topical issue, one may opt to go for his or her preferences. The same applies to scenarios of searching research evidence that guide professional decision-making and a clinical inquiry. I found that the PICOT format helped me create a good research question that can inform my hypothesis. To increase rigor and effectiveness, I used the FINER (Feasibility, Interesting, Novel, Ethical, and Relevant) mnemonic suggested by Regatieri, Alves and Rocha (2019). My PICOT question is feasible in terms of sufficiency of time, operability, and conducting logistics. The question is interesting and explores new insights that can guide the management of borderline personality disorder. Lastly, it fits within the ethical frameworks of research and is relevant to clinical work.


Undertaking research requires one to consult existing body of information related to the topic of interest, something easily achieved through online databases. Given my interest in researching the effectiveness of psychotherapeutic management of BPD compared to pharmacologic management, I conducted an in-depth search in different databases. Among these were the Walden Library, Cochrane, CNAHL and Google Scholar, with the aim of revealing current treatment and management information relating to the disorder. I believe the information retrieved will enable me develop a better understanding of the problem and inform future research on the condition.


  • Ganti, L. K. (2018). First aid for the psychiatry clerkship. McGraw Hill Professional.
  • Geddes, J. R., & Andreasen, N. C. (2020). New Oxford textbook of psychiatry. Oxford University Press, USA.
  • Hutsebaut, J., Videler, A. C., Verheul, R., & Van Alphen, S. P. (2019). Managing borderline personality disorder from a life course perspective: Clinical staging and health management. Personality Disorders: Theory, Research, and Treatment10(4), 309.
  • Palaskar, J. (2017). Framing the research question using PICO strategy. Journal of Dental and Allied Sciences6(2), 55-55. DOI: 10.4103/jdas.jdas_46_17
  • Regatieri, C. V., Alves, A. V., & Rocha, E. (2019). Medical acumen and scientific approach meet the FINER method. Arquivos Brasileiros De Oftalmologia82(4), 1-5.
  • Riffer, F., Farkas, M., Streibl, L., Kaiser, E., & Sprung, M. (2019). Psychopharmacological treatment of patients with borderline personality disorder: comparing data from routine clinical care with recommended guidelines. International Journal of Psychiatry in Clinical Practice23(3), 178-188.