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Factors impacting sleep quality in people diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD)

Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is characterised by difficulties with emotion regulation, interpersonal relationships, and impulsive behaviour. Sleep disturbances are commonly experienced by people with BPD. Despite this, our understanding of the types of sleep disturbance experienced, and the trajectories of how sleep changes over the course of effective treatment for BPD remain poorly understood. Additional co-morbid factors such as mental health diagnoses (e.g., depression, anxiety), and alcohol and drug use are also likely to affect the experience of sleep in people with BPD. While limited epidemiological data are available within BPD populations, cross-sectional studies have reported markedly different estimates of the prevalence of sleep-related problems ranging from 15% to >95% suggesting that further targeted studies seeking to understand sleep disturbances in people with BPD are warranted. This programme of work can accommodate a range of projects based on the study degree and the student’s experience in working with clinical populations. Studies may include: (i) a systematic audit of Spectrum’s assessment database to characterise the nature of sleep problems, and examine the extent to which sleep quality (and co-occurring factors including drug and alcohol use; mood disturbances) change over the course of treatment; (ii) a mixed-methods study utilising sleep diaries and validated sleep instruments to examine how sleep quality and disturbances change following the commencement of treatment, and at regular intervals until discharge; and (iii) a psychoeducation intervention that targets sleep in people diagnosed with BPD and evaluates outcomes.
Essential criteria: 
Minimum entry requirements can be found here:
sleep; borderline personality disorder; alcohol and drug use; mental health; treatment
Available options 
Masters by research
Masters by coursework
Joint PhD/Exchange Program
Time commitment 
Top-up scholarship funding available 
Physical location 
Turning Point and eastern health Clinical School.
Assoc Prof 
Jillian Broadbear

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