January 1980

Diagnosing Borderline Patients With a Semistructured Interview

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School, Boston, and McLean Hospital, Belmont, Mass.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1980;37(1):37-41. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1980.01780140039004

• As a part of an ongoing effort to provide operational criteria for a diagnosis of borderline personality disorder, the Diagnostic Interview for Borderlines (DIB) has been developed. The DIB is an hour-long, semistructured interview that evaluates five areas of borderline pathologic features—social adaptation, impulse/ action patterns, affects, psychotic symptoms, and interpersonal relations. The DIBs were administered to 70 hospitalized patients and compared with clinical diagnoses made at the time of discharge. The DIB discriminates borderline patients from others, especially from schizophrenic and neurotic depressives. It reflects clinical diagnosis, yielding higher scores for patients on whom there is more agreement on the diagnosis of borderline. The instrument can be used flexibly to identify populations of borderline patients for research purposes.