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01.12.2017 | Research article | Ausgabe 1/2017 Open Access

BMC Psychiatry 1/2017

Emotion regulation individual therapy for adolescents with nonsuicidal self-injury disorder: a feasibility study

Zeitschrift:
BMC Psychiatry > Ausgabe 1/2017
Autoren:
Johan Bjureberg, Hanna Sahlin, Clara Hellner, Erik Hedman-Lagerlöf, Kim L. Gratz, Jonas Bjärehed, Jussi Jokinen, Matthew T. Tull, Brjánn Ljótsson

Abstract

Background

Nonsuicidal self-injury (NSSI) is a serious health risk behavior that forms the basis of a tentative diagnosis in DSM-5, NSSI Disorder (NSSID). To date, established treatments specific to NSSI or NSSID are scarce. As a first step in evaluating the feasibility, acceptability, and utility of a novel treatment for adolescents with NSSID, we conducted an open trial of emotion regulation individual therapy for adolescents (ERITA): a 12-week, behavioral treatment aimed at directly targeting both NSSI and its proposed underlying mechanism of emotion regulation difficulties.

Methods

Seventeen girls (aged 13–17; mean = 15.31) with NSSID were enrolled in a study adopting an uncontrolled open trial design with self-report and clinician-rated assessments of NSSI and other self-destructive behaviors, emotion regulation difficulties, borderline personality features, and global functioning administered at pre-treatment, post-treatment, and 6-month follow-up. Measures of NSSI and emotion regulation difficulties were also administered weekly during treatment.

Results

Ratings of treatment credibility and expectancy and the treatment completion rate (88%) were satisfactory, and both therapeutic alliance and treatment attendance were strong. Intent-to-treat analyses revealed significant improvements associated with large effect sizes in past-month NSSI frequency, emotion regulation difficulties, self-destructive behaviors, and global functioning, as well as a medium effect size in past-month NSSI versatility, from pre- to post-treatment. Further, all of these improvements were either maintained or further improved upon at 6-month follow-up. Finally, change in emotion regulation difficulties mediated improvements in NSSI over the course of treatment.

Conclusions

Results suggest the acceptability, feasibility, and utility of this treatment for adolescents with NSSID.

Trial registration

ClinicalTrials.​gov (NCT02326012, December 22, 2014, retrospectively registered).
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