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Outside the office hours : a scoping review of ecological momentary techniques to assess and treat personality disorders

Möller, J. (2021) Outside the office hours : a scoping review of ecological momentary techniques to assess and treat personality disorders.

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Abstract:Introduction: Ecological momentary assessments (EMA) and interventions (EMI) have been successfully implemented in various fields of psychology for years to measure constructs of interest in their natural environment and in real-time. However, relatively little is known about new progressions in the field of personality disorders (PD) which are commonly recognised to be challenging to treat. This scoping review attends to six questions in total. Four primary objectives: opportunities for new interventions, evaluation of treatments, improving understanding of symptoms, and capturing and predicting emotional variability. Two additional secondary objectives were formulated to answer broad questions of descriptive nature: The prevalence of different personality disorders and the qualities of utilized techniques. The two databases Scopus and PsycINFO were therefore explored, appropriate content summarized and answers synthesised based on an influential paper by Myin-Germey and her colleagues. Methods: Papers were deemed eligible if they were available in English or German, if they were published in the last twenty years, if they included at least one participant who was diagnosed with an PD or qualified for a PD diagnosis, if a EMA or EMI design was utilized and acquired data through these methods was used in the treatment or assessment of the subjects. Extracted data was briefly summarized and integrated into two tables to present a quick overview. Results: All types of PDs were represented in the cumulative sample of the 15 papers, while borderline personality disorder (n = 8) and schizotypal (n = 4) constitute the most represented disorders. Data was mostly gathered through web-based internet sites (n = 11) and mobile applications (n = 4). In terms of capturing and predicting emotional variability several methods proved themselves useful, surpassing the objective by providing high accuracy in the diagnostic process. Improvements in the understanding of symptoms were represented, achieved through various means and tapped into different data when compared to other employed EMA measurements. While the evaluation of interventions was in no paper the main objective, methods that captured emotional variability were found to be suitable for this task. Opportunities for new interventions were also discovered, although they did not differ in their main objective, skill training, means of achieving this task differed among them. Discussion: Included papers illustrated their feasibility and demonstrated promising results which support their integration into everyday practice. Future research should establish experiments with randomized control trails, investigate their feasibility for wide implementation and develop interventions to include lesser represented personality disorders.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Programme:Psychology MSc (66604)
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