Client and Clinical Utility of the Assessment of Personality Disorders

Laura C Weekers, Joost Hutsebaut, Jan H Kamphuis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Clinical utility and client utility are important desirable properties when developing and evaluating a new classification system for mental disorders. This study reports on four focus groups followed up by a Delphi study among clinicians working with clients with personality disorders (PD) and clients with PD themselves to harness both user groups' perspectives on the utility of PD diagnosis. Our findings show that the client and clinician views of the concept of utility were closely aligned and include aspects of transparency of communication and the ability of an assessment to enhance hope, curiosity, motivation, and insight into a client's personality patterns. Unique to clinicians' appraisal was the ability of an assessment to capture both vulnerabilities and resilience of clients and to give information about the prognosis in treatment. Unique to clients' appraisal was the ability of an assessment to be destigmatizing and collaborative. These findings may serve to expand our definition and measurement of clinical utility, in that collaborative and nonstigmatizing procedures likely promote client acceptability. To capture both aspects, we offer two preliminary questionnaires (i.e., item sets open to further empirical testing) based on the data derived from the Delphi procedure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)846-850
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Nervous and Mental Disease
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Adult
  • Delphi Technique
  • Female
  • Focus Groups
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Personality Assessment/standards
  • Personality Disorders/diagnosis
  • Process Assessment, Health Care/standards
  • Psychometrics/standards
  • Surveys and Questionnaires


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