Mentalization‐based treatment and its evidence‐base status : a systematic literature review

Malda Castillo, Javier and Browne, Claire and Perez Algorta, Guillermo Daniel (2019) Mentalization‐based treatment and its evidence‐base status : a systematic literature review. Psychology and Psychotherapy: Theory, Research and Practice, 92 (4). pp. 465-498. ISSN 1476-0835

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Purpose: This study reviewed the evidence base status of Mentalisation Based Treatment (MBT), its quality, strengths and limitations. The aim was to pave the way for further MBT research. Method: An electronic database and reference lists search identified MBT outcome papers and these were systematically reviewed. The quality of the studies and the risk of bias were determined using two validated checklist tools. Results: Twenty-three studies were included in the review. This included nine randomised controlled trials, seven uncontrolled pre-post effectiveness studies, three retrospective cohort studies, two uncontrolled randomised trials and two case studies. The methodological quality of almost half of the papers was assessed as fair (43%), followed by good (34%) poor (17%) and excellent (4%) ratings. Nevertheless, the review identified risk of confounding bias across the majority of studies (60%) and fidelity to treatment was poorly reported in almost half of the studies (47%). Most of the studies focused on Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), showing positive clinical outcomes for this population but the evidence base for other presentations was still developing. The treatment of adolescents who self-harm and at-risk mothers in substance abuse treatment showed particularly promising results, as these are client groups that have previously shown limited positive response to psychological interventions. Conclusions: MBT is a potentially effective method across a wide range of clinical presentations but further research should focus on increasing the quality and the quantity of the MBT evidence outside the treatment of BPD.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Psychology and Psychotherapy: Theory, Research and Practice
Additional Information:
This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Malda‐Castillo, J. , Browne, C. and Perez‐Algorta, G. (2019), Mentalization‐based treatment and its evidence‐base status: A systematic literature review. Psychology and Psychotherapy: Theory, Research and Practive doi: 10.1111/papt.12195 which has been published in final form at This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance With Wiley Terms and Conditions for self-archiving.
Uncontrolled Keywords:
?? clinical psychologypsychiatry and mental health ??
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Deposited On:
20 Jul 2018 14:32
Last Modified:
29 Apr 2024 23:59