Examining the Nature and Mechanisms of Psychotic Experiences in Borderline Personality Disorder
We are currently seeking participants for our online study!
Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is a diagnosis used to describe a set of psychological and behavioural symptoms experiences that can cause significant distress and suffering. In addition to prominent mood and anxiety symptoms, many people with BPD report psychotic experiences like hearing voices and paranoid beliefs. However, these psychotic experiences are severely understudied, and we do not know a lot about them.
The purpose of this study is to develop a better understanding of psychotic experiences in BPD and which brain mechanisms might underlie them. To do this we will look at factors that are known to be relevant to BPD and psychosis, such as post-traumatic symptoms and adversity, as well as mechanisms that we know are relevant to psychosis from studies in people with schizophrenia.
Our aim is to develop a more comprehensive picture of the nature and range of psychotic experiences in BPD, understand the factors that contribute to them and gain insights into the mechanisms that may underlie them.
Are you interested in taking part?
For our current online study, we need adults with lived experience of BPD as well as healthy controls.
Specifically, we need adults who have either:
A current diagnosis of BPD and have experienced psychotic symptoms (hallucinations and/or delusions) within the last 12 months
A current diagnosis of BPD and have never experienced psychotic symptoms
Never had a diagnosis of any major mental health condition (as a control)
Before you can be accepted, we must check you meet certain conditions, for example, that you are aged between 18 and 65, meet the criteria for BPD, and have not been diagnosed with a psychotic disorder.
If you are interested, please follow the link below which will take you to our screening platform.
Further information and FAQs
About the Screening
This will take about 10 to 15 minutes and will ask you about BPD symptoms, whether you have ever had psychotic experiences, and if you currently suffer from any other mental or physical health conditions that could exclude you from the study (for example if you have had a serious head injury or suffer from a psychotic illness like schizophrenia).
You will also be asked about any other physical and/or mental illnesses. Before you complete the screening form, you will be asked to provide informed consent for this portion of the study. This is because we would like to use the information from the screening step to build a wider picture of the range and frequency of psychotic experiences in BPD.
All information from the screening form will be kept confidential, and it will not be linked to your name (i.e. it will be anonymised).
About the Study
If you are eligible to complete the online testing session, you will be asked to complete a second consent prior to beginning the study. During the online session, you will complete questionnaires related to your mood, personal history, psychotic experiences, and physical health. You will also be asked to provide additional details about your medical history, including other diagnoses. Furthermore, there will be a couple of cognitive tasks for you to complete. The entire study will last approximately 1.5 hours, which you may complete in one go or in multiple intervals.
Do I have to change my habits?
You will not be asked to change your behaviours or routines for this study.
Will I be paid for my time?
You will be paid £20 for taking part in the study.
What are the psychological tasks like?
These are tasks where you view a computer screen and respond by pressing a button or key on a keyboard. They test how your brain uses incoming sensory information and makes judgments based on subconscious prior information.
What are the possible risks of taking part?
There are no risks associated with the questionnaires or psychological tasks in this study. However, some people may feel uncomfortable answering questions about their mood, thoughts, or personal history.
Should you have thoughts of harming yourself, please contact your local care team, GP or one of the national helplines, such as Samaritans (116 123). More information can be found at:
What are the possible benefits of taking part?
As we currently do not know a lot about the range of psychotic experiences in BPD and how or why they occur, any understanding that we can gain about these symptoms can be very helpful in developing treatments guidelines and improving care for those affected.
What if I have any concerns or complaints about the study?
If you have a concern about any aspect of this study, or would like more information, please contact the researchers who will do their best to answer your questions (details provided below).
Charley Peitzmeier, PhD Student, Department of Psychiatry, email@example.com
Dr Hisham Ziauddeen, Honorary consultant psychiatrist & Senior Research Associate, Department of Psychiatry and Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Foundation Trust, firstname.lastname@example.org
Prof Paul Fletcher, Honorary consultant psychiatrist and Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Foundation Trust, email@example.com
We hope that the results of this study will advance the understanding of psychotic experiences in people with Borderline Personality Disorder, which will aid in the management and treatment of this highly stigmatised and under-researched condition.
PsychREC Ref: PRE.2020.084