Background: Personality disorders (PD) are related to negative outcome in substance abuse treatment, and in the general population, personality disorders are related to negative outcome in overall functioning. Little is known about the impact of PD on adjustment following substance abuse treatment. Methods: A cohort of 132 women was followed for 5 years after their index treatment episode in compulsory treatment. During treatment, patients were assessed with the SCID-II. At follow-up, patients were administered a timeline follow-back interview covering their functioning, including employment status over the years, and linked with hospital and criminal justice registers. Results: The impact of PD on functioning varied substantially between disorders and outcome domains. Conduct disorder alone was associated with criminal justice involvement, and conduct disorder and avoidant PD features were associated with unemployment. Dependent PD and obsessive-compulsive personality disorder features were positively associated with employment. Borderline PD features were associated with hospital admissions. Discussion: We discuss how strategies associated with various PDs may foster or hinder social adjustment in general and employment patterns in particular.
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