Group schema-focused therapy enriched with psychomotor therapy versus treatment as usual for older adults with cluster B and/or C personality disorders: a randomized trial

S D M van Dijk, M S Veenstra, R Bouman, J Peekel, D H Veenstra, P J van Dalen, A D I van Asselt, M L Boshuisen, S P J van Alphen, R H S van den Brink, R C Oude Voshaar

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BACKGROUND: Several types of psychotherapy have been proven successful in the treatment of personality disorders in younger age groups, however studies among older patients are lacking. We developed a group schema-focused therapy (SFT) enriched with psychomotor therapy (PMT) for older adults with cluster B and/or C personality disorders. This paper describes the design of a randomized controlled trial (RCT). We will evaluate the (cost-)effectiveness of this therapy protocol in specialized mental health care. We hypothesize that our treatment program is cost-effective and superior to treatment as usual (TAU) in reducing psychological distress and improving quality of life in older adults treated to specialized mental healthcare.

METHODS: A multicenter RCT with a one-year follow-up comparing group schema-focused therapy enriched with psychomotor therapy (group SFT + PMT) and TAU for adults aged 60 years and older who suffer from either a cluster B and/or C personality disorder. The primary outcome is general psychological distress measured with the 53-item Brief Symptom Inventory. Secondary outcomes are the Schema Mode Inventory (118-item version) and the Young Schema Questionnaire. Cost-effectiveness analysis will be performed from a societal perspective with the EuroQol five dimensions questionnaire and structured cost-interviews.

DISCUSSION: This study will add to the knowledge of psychotherapy in later life. The study specifically contributes to the evidence on (cost-) effectiveness of group SFT enriched with PMT adapted to the needs of for older adults with cluster b and/or c personality.

TRIAL REGISTRATION: Netherlands Trial Register NTR 6621 . Registered on 20 August 2017.

Original languageEnglish
Article number26
Number of pages14
JournalBMC Psychiatry
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 15-Jan-2019


  • Cognitive techniques
  • Design article
  • Experiential techniques
  • Group therapy
  • Multicenter RCT
  • Older adults
  • Personality disorders
  • Psychomotor therapy
  • Schema focused therapy
  • 6621
  • adult
  • article
  • Brief Symptom Inventory
  • controlled study
  • cost effectiveness analysis
  • distress syndrome
  • follow up
  • health program
  • human
  • major clinical study
  • mental health care
  • middle aged
  • multicenter study
  • personality disorder
  • psychotherapy
  • quality of life
  • questionnaire
  • randomized controlled trial
  • structured interview

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