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An overview of Indian research in personality disorders

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Author(s): Sharan Pratap

Journal: Indian Journal of Psychiatry
ISSN 0019-5545

Volume: 52;
Issue: 7;
Start page: 250;
Date: 2010;
Original page

Keywords: Personality disorders | research | epidemiology

ABSTRACT
Personality disorders have significant, but often unrealized, public health importance. The present review summarizes the published work on personality disorders in the Indian population or by Indian researchers residing in the country. Researchers who have worked on assessment methodology in India have demonstrated that clinical diagnosis has a low reliability when compared with semi-structured interviews; and have attempted to increase the feasibility of the standardized use of International Personality Disorder Examination, a semi-structured interview developed by the World Health Organization (WHO). Studies on epidemiology demonstrate that none of the general population studies have employed standardized interviews, and hence, they grossly underestimate the prevalence of personality disorders in the community. The clinical epidemiology studies have employed questionnaires and interviews developed in the West, mostly without local adaptations, with discrepant results. However, these studies show that personality disorders are common in the clinical population and that rates vary across sub populations. While, there are a few reports attesting the theoretical importance of the role of culture in the formation and expression of personality disorders, empirical literature from India in this area is scanty. Similarly, there are few reports on the treatment of personality disorders, while, important areas such as service delivery, etiology, and validity of personality disorders, are unaddressed. The study of personality disorder in India is maturing, with researchers showing increased familiarity with the methodological nuances of this complex area of research.
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