Given the high prevalence of Cluster-C Personality Disorders (PDs) in clinical populations, disease burden, high societal costs and poor prognosis of comorbid disorders, a major gain in health care can be achieved if Cluster-C PDs are adequately treated. The only controlled cost-effectiveness study published so far found Individual Schema Therapy (IST) to be superior to Treatment as Usual (TAU). Group ST (GST) might improve cost-effectiveness as larger numbers can be treated in (>50%) less time compared to IST. However, to date there is no RCT supporting its (cost-) effectiveness. The overall aim of this study is to assess the evidence for GST for Cluster-C PDs and to improve treatment allocation for individual patients. Three main questions are addressed: 1) Is GST for Cluster-C PDs (cost-) effective compared to TAU? 2) Is GST for Cluster-C PDs (cost-) effective compared to IST? 3) Which patient-characteristics predict better response to GST, IST, or TAU?
In a multicenter RCT, the treatment conditions GST, IST, and TAU are compared in 378 Cluster-C PD patients within 10 sites. GST and IST follow treatment protocols and are completed within 1 year. TAU is the optimal alternative treatment available at the site according to regular procedures. Severity of the Cluster-C PD is the primary outcome, assessed with clinical interviews by independent raters blind for treatment. Functioning and wellbeing are important secondary outcomes. Assessments take place at week 0 (baseline), 17 (mid-GST), 34 (post-GST), 51 (postbooster sessions of GST), and 2 years (FU). Patient characteristics predicting better response to a specifc treatment are studied, e.g., childhood trauma, autistic features, and introversion. A tool supporting patients and clinicians in matching treatment to patient will be developed. An economic evaluation investigates the cost-effectiveness and costutility from a societal perspective. A process evaluation by qualitative methods explores experiences of participants, loved ones and therapists regarding recovery, quality of life, and improving treatment.
This study will determine the (cost-)effectiveness of treatments for Cluster-C PDs regarding treatment type as well as optimal matching of patient to treatment and deliver insight into which aspects help Cluster-C-PD patients recover and create a fulfilling life.
Dutch Trial Register: NL9209. Registered on 28-01-2021,
- AUTISM-SPECTRUM QUOTIENT
- Cluster-C personality disorder
- Economic evaluation
- Group schema therapy
- Individual schema therapy
- Personalized care
- Randomized controlled trial