Research at Borderline Personality Disorder Collaborative

BPD Co has an active clinical research program which aims to address gaps in knowledge and practice for people with a diagnosis of BPD, their families and health professionals. We have a strong commitment to evaluating the effectiveness of our clinical programmes which may involve clinical trials of novel interventions through to ongoing quality assurance of routine service delivery. BPD Co aims to partner with tertiary institutions and stakeholder organisations to expand research in the field of personality disorders

The BPD Co model of care outlined several key performance indicators, which shape the goals of the research agenda: 

  • improved access to appropriate early intervention services
  • improved access to appropriate evidence-based services
  • improved access to recovery-focussed services
  • reduction in the level of suicide and deliberate self-harm by those who suffer from BPD
  • decreased presentations to hospitals, including emergency departments, by BPD clients
  • decreased experience of stigma and discrimination faced by those with a diagnosis of BPD.

The BPD Co research team includes:

  • Associate Professor, Dr Paul Cammell, Research Lead
  • Dr Dianna Bartsch, Research Coordinator
  • Sierra Magann, Project Officer – Research

If you are interested in collaborating with BPD Co on research project, please contact us to discuss on  

Current projects

Our current research projects include:

  • effectiveness of a brief intervention for young people presenting to services in crisis
  • evaluation of a short-term group therapy program for people with a diagnosis of borderline personality disorder
  • acceptability and subjective use of a peer group program for borderline personality disorder
  • prevalence of borderline symptoms and borderline personality disorder in adult offender populations
  • effectiveness of a short-term group for parents with a diagnosis of BPD and their infants
  • randomised control trial of a brief parenting group intervention in partnership with the Project AIR strategy at the University of Wollongong.

BPD Co training and clinical services are also monitored for quality assurance purposes.

Get involved

Participation in BPD Co research projects is voluntary. Service-users will be asked to read a sign an information participation sheet and consent form prior to participation. Please talk to your treating clinician if you have any questions or concerns about participating in research or service evaluations. Before consenting to participation, it can also be good to talk through with a trusted person in your life if you are unsure about the decision.

Further information about specific BPD Co projects is available below.

GOLD CARD SA Evaluation

Kristy Acres (PhD candidate) from the University of South Australia will be collaborating with BPD Co to evaluate Gold Card SA as implemented in the Northern Adelaide Local Health Network. Access the Gold Card SA information sheet (PDF 122KB) for more information.

BPD Co publications

Below is a list of BPD Co publications developed by or in collaboration with research students, tertiary institutions, or partner organisations. 

Bartsch, D.R., Cooke-O’connor L., Connerty, T.J., van Roekel H., Cammell, P. (2024). Acceptability and feasibility of a short-term group therapy for people with borderline personality disorder symptoms. Australasian Psychiatry. Early Online View

Bartsch, D.R., McLeod Everitt, C., Bednarz, J., Ludbrook, C., & Cammell, P. (2024). A state-wide initiative to improve health system responses to people with borderline personality disorder symptoms in crisis: A retrospective audit. Journal of Personality Disorders, 38(1), 87–108

Dahlenburg, S. C., Bartsch, D. R., Giles, J. A., Koehne, K. A., & O'Sullivan, J. (2024). Experiences of a peer group for people diagnosed with borderline personality disorder: A qualitative interview study. Personality and Mental Health, 1–11

Smith, D., Cammell, P., Battersby, M., Bartsch, D., Stevenson, J., & Bastiampillai, T. (2024). Recurrent Mental Health Presentations to Public Hospital Services. Primary Care Companion for CNS Disorders, 26(1),

Lindell-Innes, R., Phillips-Hughes, A. L., Bartsch, D., Galletly, C., & Ludbrook, C. (2023). Attitudes of psychiatry trainees towards patients with borderline personality disorder: Does the stigma begin during training? Personality and Mental Health, 17(4), 387-395.

Bartsch, D. R., Roberts, R., & Proeve, M. (2022). Relationships between parental borderline symptom severity, empathy, parenting styles and child psychopathology. Clinical Psychologist, 1-11.

Research collaborations

Are you interested in contributing to understanding the needs of people with a diagnosis of BPD, their support people, and the broader health system?

We are open to supervising research projects from enthusiastic, high-achieving, and driven HDR students enrolled in a mental-health related University Degree and /or scholarly projects as part of Psychiatry Registrar Program.

Projects will be considered and weighted in relation to our research aims, model of care, and resource-availability. If you are interested in learning more, please contact the Research Coordinator at

BPD Co has collaborated with partner organisations on the completed projects listed below. 

“Right now I feel ok but more so that I am surviving not thriving”: Experiences of Sharing the Parenting with a Person Diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder
University of Adelaide, M. psych (clinical) — Pascoe, C

Exploring personality pathology and minority stress among Australian sexual and gender minorities.
University of Adelaide, B. Psych (Honours) - Magann, S.

Attitudes towards parents with a diagnosis of borderline personality disorder.
University of Adelaide, B. Psych (Honours) - Laird, D

An evaluation of a BPD-specific training that was developed and delivered in collaboration with experts by lived experience on the attitudes, empathy and optimism of mental health professionals.
University of Adelaide, M. Psych (Clinical) - Wright, M.

Attitudes of psychiatry trainees towards patients with borderline personality disorder: Does the stigma begin during training?
Psychiatry Registrar (Scholarly Project) — Lindell-Innes, R.

Coming up for AIR: A pilot study assessing the feasibility of a brief parenting intervention for borderline personality disorder
University of Wollongong Project Air, PhD (Clinical psychology) — Steele, K.

Virtual library — reports and publications

Below is a list of reports and peer-reviewed articles that relate to the rationale for the BPD Co. Model of Care and that are frequently cited in our training packages.

Kent, M. (2019). State-wide Borderline Personality Disorder Collaborative Model of Care. Government of South Australia (SA Health).

National Health and Medical Research Council (2013) Clinical Practice Guideline for the management of borderline personality disorder. National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC). Clinical Practice Guideline - Borderline Personality Disorder | NHMRC

Kent, M., Cammell, P. & McMahon, J. (2012). Borderline personality disorder: An overview of current delivery of borderline personality disorder services in the public sector across South Australia and a proposed way forward. Government of South Australia (SA Health).

Iliakis, E. A., Sonley, A. K. I., Ilagan, G. S., & Choi-Kain, L. W. (2019). Treatment of borderline personality disorder: Is supply adequate to meet public health needs? Psychiatric Services, 70(9), 772-781. 

Laporte, L., Paris, J., Bergevin, T., Fraser, R., & Cardin, J. F. (2018). Clinical outcomes of a stepped care program for borderline personality disorder. Personality and Mental Health, 12(3), 252-264. 

Choi-Kain, L. W., Albert, E. B., & Gunderson, J. G. (2016). Evidence-based treatments for borderline personality disorder: Implementation, integration, and stepped care. Harvard Review of Psychiatry, 24(5), 342–356

Grenyer, B. F. S. (2014). An integrative relational step-down model of care: The Project Air Strategy for personality disorders. The ACPARIAN, 9(8-13).

Paris J, 2013. Stepped care: An alternative to routine extended treatment for patients with borderline personality disorder. Psychiatric Services, 64(19), 1035-1037.

Choi-Kain, L. W., et al. (2017). What works in the treatment of borderline personality disorder. Current Behavioral Neuroscience Reports, 4(1), 21-30.

Bateman, A. W., Gunderson, J., & Mulder, R. (2015). Treatment of personality disorder. The Lancet, 385(9969), 735-743.

Beatson, J., & Rao, S. (2014). Psychotherapy for borderline personality disorder. Australasian Psychiatry, 22.

Weinberg, I., Ronningstam, E., Goldblatt, M. J., Schechter, M., & Maltsberger, J. T. (2011). Common factors in empirically supported treatments of borderline personality disorder. Current Psychiatry Reports, 13(1), 60-68

The following list of publications showcases local research conducted by clinicians and researchers within SA Health, evaluating services for people diagnosed with a personality disorder.

Wood, N.M., O’Shea, A., Num, S., Johnson, C., Sutherland, C.R., Edney, L.C.,  & Wade, T.D. (2023) Implementation of evidence-based group interventions in a community-based mental health service for self-harming and suicidal youth. Clinical Psychologist.

Acres, K., Loughhead, M., & Procter, N. (2022). From the community to the emergency department: A study of hospital emergency department nursing practices from the perspective of carers of a loved one with borderline personality disorder. Health & Social Care in the Community, 30, 1789–1797.

Heerebrand, S. L., Bray, J., Ulbrich, C., Roberts, R. M., & Edwards, S. (2021). Effectiveness of dialectical behavior therapy skills training group for adults with borderline personality disorder. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 77(7), 1573–1590.

Sved Williams A, Osborn A, Yelland C, Hollamby S. (2021). Changing intergenerational patterns of emotional dysregulation in families with perinatal borderline personality disorder. Archives of Women's Mental Health, 24(4):641-648.

Mitchell, R., Roberts, R. M., Bartsch, D. R., & Sullivan T. (2019). Changes in mindfulness facets in a dialectical behaviour therapy skills training group program for borderline personality disorder. Journal of Clinical Psychology 75(6), 958-969.

Sved Williams, A. E., Yelland, C., Hollamby, S., Wigley, M., & Aylward, P. (2018). A new therapeutic group to help women with borderline personality disorder and their infants. Psychiatry Practice, 24(5), 331-40

Bartsch, D. R., Roberts, R. M., Davies, M., & Proeve, M. (2016). Understanding the experience of parents with a diagnosis of borderline personality disorder. Australian Psychologist, 51(6), 472-480.

Williams, S. E., Hartstone, M. D., & Denson, L. A. (2010). Dialectical behavioural therapy and borderline personality disorder: Effects on service utilisation and self-reported symptoms. Behaviour Change, 27(4), 251-264.