Learning the lessons : a multi-method evaluation of dedicated community-based services for people with personality disorder

National Institute for Health Research - NIHR
National Institute for Health Research (NIHR)
Publication date:
01 November 2007


People who have a personality disorder have long-term emotional problems that affect the way they see themselves and get on others. These problems make people at greater risk of mental distress, social problems, suicide and self-harm. In many areas of the country there are few services for people with a personality disorder. In order to improve this situation the NHS has funded 11 new community services for people with these problems.

This project aims to evaluate these new services, to find out if and how they help people and to use this information to make recommendations for future service development.

Project design: We have developed a plan for evaluating these services that has the support of people who are delivering them. We will conduct a series of interviews with managers and clinical staff at each of the 11 sites and examine the way that services are organised and the different types of treatment they provide. We will go back to the services on a regular basis over the following months in order to find out how they develop and what services they actually deliver. We will also collect information from patients about what they think makes a good service and measure the effect that the care they receive has on their mental health, sense of well-being and use of other services.Involving service users: We believe that involving people who use services is an essential component of high quality research. We have therefore consulted with service users and carers in planning for this project. Regular meetings between researchers, service users and carers, and clinical staff will help us to ensure that the project runs smoothly and achieves what we set out to do.