Effects of dialectical behavior therapy skills training on outcomes for mental health staff in a child and adolescent residential setting

Ann F. Haynos, Alan E. Fruzzetti, Calli Anderson, David Briggs, Jason Walenta


Training in Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) skills coaching is desirable for staff in psychiatric settings, due to the efficacy of DBT in treating difficult patient populations. In such settings, training resources are typically limited, and staff turnover is high, necessitating brief training. This study evaluated the effects of a brief training in DBT skills coaching for nursing staff working in a child and adolescent psychiatric residential program. Nursing staff (n = 22) completed assessments of DBT skill knowledge, burnout, and stigma towards patients with borderline personality disorder (BPD) before and after a six-week DBT skills coaching training. Repeated measure ANOVAs were conducted to examine changes on all measures from pre- to post- treatment and hierarchical linear regressions to examine relationships between pre- training DBT knowledge, burnout, and BPD stigma and these same measures post-training. The brief DBT skill coaching training significantly increased DBT knowledge (p = .007) and decreased staff personal (p = .02) and work (p = .03) burnout and stigma towards BPD patients (p = .02). Burnout indices and BPD stigma were highly correlated at both time points (p < .001); however, while pre-training BPD stigma significantly predicted post-training client burnout (p = .04), pre-training burnout did not predict post-training BPD stigma. These findings suggest that brief training of psychiatric nursing staff in DBT skills and coaching techniques can result in significant benefits, including reduced staff burnout and stigma toward patients with BPD-related problems, and that reducing BPD stigma may particularly promote lower burnout.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5430/jha.v5n2p55


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Journal of Hospital Administration

ISSN 1927-6990(Print)   ISSN 1927-7008(Online)

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