The British Journal of Psychiatry

Abstract

In a one-year prevalence study of conspicuous psychiatric morbidity in two group general practices, one urban and the other rural, personality disorder was diagnosed in 5.3% by the GP and in 5.6% by the psychiatrist, but this increased to 28% when personality disorder was assessed using a structured interview. The prevalence of personality disorder was higher in the urban practice than in the rural one but there was no consistent association between personality disorder and mental state disorder, with the exception of alcohol abuse and dependence. The high rate of personality disorder found using the interview schedule is likely to be a true finding, and failure to recognise this hidden morbidity is important in both general and psychiatric practice.