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Predictors of Response of Antisocial Patients to Hospital Treatment
Glen O. Gabbard; Lolafaye Coyne
Psychiatric Services 1987; doi:
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The authors are indebted to Jon Allen, Ph.D., and Faye Schoenfeld for their assistance with this project.

C. F. Menninger Memorial Hospital

Menninger Foundation in Topeka, Kansas

The American Psychiatric Association

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Abstract

Although clinicians generally agree that patients with antisocial personality disorder should not be treated on general psychiatry units, little is known about the response to hospital treatment of personality disorder patients who have antisocial features or traits. In a study to identify predictors of positive and negative response to hospitalization, charts of all patients discharged from a private hospital with diagnoses of antisocial personality disorder or antisocial features over 52 months were reviewed. As a group the 33 patients did not respond well to treatment, and 70 percent left treatment prematurely. Significant predictors of negative response were histories of felony arrest and conviction; a history of repeated lying, aliases, and conning; and an unresolved legal situation at admission. Positive response was related to the presence of anxiety and an axis I diagnosis of depression. The authors believe that antisocial personality disorder is often underdiagnosed and that countertransference can present a significant obstacle to treatment of antisocial patients.

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