Free
Poster Session
Issue Date: July 2015
Published Online: July 01, 2015
Updated: April 30, 2020
Living With a Personality Disorder: Its Impact on Life Balance
Author Affiliations
  • Institut universitaire en santé mentale de Montréal
  • Université de Sherbrooke
Article Information
Mental Health / Basic Research
Poster Session   |   July 01, 2015
Living With a Personality Disorder: Its Impact on Life Balance
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, July 2015, Vol. 69, 6911505110. https://doi.org/10.5014/ajot.2015.69S1-PO3086
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, July 2015, Vol. 69, 6911505110. https://doi.org/10.5014/ajot.2015.69S1-PO3086
Abstract

Date Presented 4/17/2015

Little is known about the life balance of women with Clusters B and C personality disorders. This study compared subjective and objective life balance in women with and without personality disorders. It also examined relationships among subjective and objective life balance, stress, and quality of life.

SIGNIFICANCE: Literature on personality disorders has tended to focus on symptoms, etiology, and psychotherapeutic interventions. It is known, however, that individuals with personality disorders present functional impairments that can be persistent. A challenge that they face is their time use and life balance. It is important for occupational therapists to have a better understanding of this issue in women with a personality disorder (Clusters B and C).
INNOVATION: To our knowledge, this is the first study that compared subjective life balance, objective occupational balance, and perceptions of specific occupations in women with and without personality disorders. Questions investigated included the following: (1) Do subjective and objective life balance of women with and without personality disorders differ? (2) What influences subjective life balance in women with and without personality disorders? In the mental health field, life balance has been studied in individuals with psychotic disorders (Håkansson, Lissner, Björkelund, & Sonn, 2009), stress-related disorders (Bejerholm, 2010), and anxiety disorders (Håkansson, Dahlin-Ivanoff, & Sonn, 2006). However, no study has explored this issue in women with Clusters B and C personality disorders.
METHOD: This study used a descriptive correlational design, with a convenience sample of 90 women aged 18 to 50 yr. To be included in the study, those with a personality disorder needed to have a confirmed diagnosis of a Cluster B and/or C personality disorder. Exclusion criteria were to be hospitalized or to have an intellectual disability. The women with personality disorders were recruited in two hospitals in Quebec (Canada). The women without personality disorders were recruited through ads placed in public places.
The following questionnaires were administered: Life Balance Inventory (subjective life balance), Occupational Questionnaire (time use and perceptions of specific occupations), Depression Anxiety Stress Scale—21 (stress), and Quality of Life Index. To compare life balance between the two groups, t tests were used. To examine the relationships between subjective and objective life balance as well as between stress and quality of life, linear regression analyses were conducted.
RESULTS: Preliminary results (n = 70) show that women with personality disorders perceive significantly greater imbalance in activities that meet their health needs and that allow them to have rewarding relationships, to feel engaged and challenged, and to create meaning and have a positive identity (p < .001). Women with personality disorders spend significantly less time at work and more time in daily activities and leisure. However, they feel significantly less interest in their leisure and work activities (p < .01). In women without a personality disorder, quality of life and being a mother most influence the subjective life balance (R2 = 36.3%, p = .003). In women with a personality disorder, quality of life most influences the subjective life balance (R2 = 33.3%, p = .004).
CONCLUSION: Women with personality disorders feel greater life imbalance and have a more negative view of their occupations than women without personality disorders. Future studies that have larger sample sizes and that include men with personality disorders are suggested.
References
Bejerholm, U. (2010). Occupational balance in people with schizophrenia. Occupational Therapy in Mental Health, 26, 1–17. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01642120802642197
Håkansson, C., Dahlin-Ivanoff, S., & Sonn, U. (2006). Achieving balance in everyday life. Journal of Occupational Science, 13, 74–82. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14427591.2006.9686572
Håkansson, C., Lissner, L., Björkelund, C., & Sonn, U. (2009). Engagement in patterns of daily occupations and perceived health among women of working age. Scandinavian Journal of Occupational Therapy, 16, 110–117. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/11038120802572494