Publications by authors named "Maaria Koivisto"

13 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Self-invalidation in borderline personality disorder: A content analysis of patients' verbalizations.

Psychother Res 2022 Jan 12:1-14. Epub 2022 Jan 12.

Central Finland Health Care District, Jyväskylä, Finland.

Objective: The ability to trust one's own perceptions is crucial for psychological well-being and growth. The relevance of its opposite, self-invalidation (SI), to the psychopathology of borderline personality disorder (BPD) is emphasized in many contemporary theories of evidence-based treatments for BPD. Empirical research on this topic remains scarce, however. This study aimed to describe manifestations of SI in individuals with BPD during a 40-session psychoeducational intervention based mainly on schema therapy.

Method: Transcripts of videotaped group sessions were analyzed inductively using qualitative content analysis.

Results: SI emerged as a recurrent, ubiquitous phenomenon. The content analysis yielded three core categories of SI: (1) a self-critical and harsh attitude towards the self (subcategories reflected punitive internalizations that could engender fear-based inertia, self-erasing, submissive coping behavior, and temporal fluctuation in SI), (2) a deficient sense of normalcy, and self-doubt, and (3) self-stigma. We also found an association of SI with various dimensions of BPD, including difficulty in the identification of emotions, secondary emotional reactions such as guilt, shame, anger, and resentment, self-related and interpersonal problems, and suicidal urges.

Conclusions: SI is a detrimental cognitive-emotional process relevant to BPD that merits treatment. Efforts to reduce self-stigma, a pernicious aspect of SI, are imperative.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10503307.2022.2025627DOI Listing
January 2022

"If you don't have a word for something, you may doubt whether it's even real" - how individuals with borderline personality disorder experience change.

Psychother Res 2021 11 10;31(8):1036-1050. Epub 2021 Feb 10.

University of Eastern Finland, Central Finland Health Care District.

This study explored how psychological change was experienced and what treatment-related factors or events were perceived as supporting or hindering their process by individuals with borderline personality disorder.

Eight BPD sufferers attended a 40-session psychoeducational group intervention at a community mental health care center. At intervention end, personal experience of meaningful change was explored in an in-depth interview and data were content-analyzed. Change in BPD symptoms was assessed by the Borderline Personality Disorder Severity Index IV interview.

The qualitative content analysis on subjectively perceived meaningful change yielded three core categories: (1) improved ability to observe and understand mental events, (2) decreased disconnection from emotions, emergence of new or adaptive emotional reactions and decrease in maladaptive ones, and (3) a new, more adaptive experience of self and agency. Accordingly, (1) learning and (2) normalizing emerged as the main categories of helpful treatment factors. In turn, treatment-related factors perceived as obstacles were: (1) aggression in the group, and (2) inflexibility. With respect to symptom change, four participants were considered clinically as remitted, and two showed a reliable change.

Long-term psychoeducational group therapy seems to enhance mentalization / metacognitive functioning and promote self (or personality) integration in BPD patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10503307.2021.1883763DOI Listing
November 2021

Self-reported treatment adherence among psychiatric in- and outpatients.

Nord J Psychiatry 2018 Oct 16;72(7):526-533. Epub 2018 Nov 16.

d Department of Psychiatry , Institute of Clinical Medicine , Helsinki , Finland.

Background: Poor adherence to psychiatric treatment is a common clinical problem, leading to unfavourable treatment outcome and increased healthcare costs.

Aim: The aim of this study was to investigate the self-reported adherence and attitudes to outpatient visits and pharmacotherapy in specialized care psychiatric patients.

Methods: Within the Helsinki University Psychiatric Consortium (HUPC) pilot study, in- and outpatients with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder (SSA, n  =  113), bipolar disorder (BD, n  =  99), or depressive disorder (DD, n  =  188) were surveyed about their adherence and attitudes towards outpatient visits and pharmacotherapy. Correlates of self-reported adherence to outpatient and drug treatment were investigated using regression analysis.

Results: The majority (78.5%) of patients reported having attended outpatient visits regularly or only partly irregularly. Most patients (79.2%) also reported regular use of pharmacotherapy. Self-reported non-adherence to preceding outpatient visits was consistently and significantly more common among inpatients than outpatients across all diagnostic groups (p < .001). Across all groups, hospital setting was the strongest independent correlate of poor adherence to outpatient visits (SSA β = -2.418, BD β = -3.417, DD β = -2.766; p < .001 in all). Another independent correlate of non-adherence was substance use disorder (SSA β = -1.555, p = .001; BD β = -1.535, p = .006; DD β = -2.258, p < .000). No other socio-demographic or clinical factor was significantly associated with poor adherence in multivariate regression models.

Conclusions: Irrespective of diagnosis, self-reported adherence to outpatient care among patients with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder, bipolar disorder, and depression is associated strongly with two factors: hospital setting and substance use disorders. Thus, detection of adherence problems among former inpatients and recognition and treatment of substance misuse are important to ensure proper outpatient care.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/08039488.2018.1538387DOI Listing
October 2018

Self-reported treatment adherence among psychiatric in- and outpatients.

Nord J Psychiatry 2018 Oct 16;72(7):526-533. Epub 2018 Nov 16.

d Department of Psychiatry , Institute of Clinical Medicine , Helsinki , Finland.

Background: Poor adherence to psychiatric treatment is a common clinical problem, leading to unfavourable treatment outcome and increased healthcare costs.

Aim: The aim of this study was to investigate the self-reported adherence and attitudes to outpatient visits and pharmacotherapy in specialized care psychiatric patients.

Methods: Within the Helsinki University Psychiatric Consortium (HUPC) pilot study, in- and outpatients with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder (SSA, n  =  113), bipolar disorder (BD, n  =  99), or depressive disorder (DD, n  =  188) were surveyed about their adherence and attitudes towards outpatient visits and pharmacotherapy. Correlates of self-reported adherence to outpatient and drug treatment were investigated using regression analysis.

Results: The majority (78.5%) of patients reported having attended outpatient visits regularly or only partly irregularly. Most patients (79.2%) also reported regular use of pharmacotherapy. Self-reported non-adherence to preceding outpatient visits was consistently and significantly more common among inpatients than outpatients across all diagnostic groups (p < .001). Across all groups, hospital setting was the strongest independent correlate of poor adherence to outpatient visits (SSA β = -2.418, BD β = -3.417, DD β = -2.766; p < .001 in all). Another independent correlate of non-adherence was substance use disorder (SSA β = -1.555, p = .001; BD β = -1.535, p = .006; DD β = -2.258, p < .000). No other socio-demographic or clinical factor was significantly associated with poor adherence in multivariate regression models.

Conclusions: Irrespective of diagnosis, self-reported adherence to outpatient care among patients with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder, bipolar disorder, and depression is associated strongly with two factors: hospital setting and substance use disorders. Thus, detection of adherence problems among former inpatients and recognition and treatment of substance misuse are important to ensure proper outpatient care.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/08039488.2018.1538387DOI Listing
October 2018

Features of borderline personality disorder as a mediator of the relation between childhood traumatic experiences and psychosis-like experiences in patients with mood disorder.

Eur Psychiatry 2018 03 30;49:9-15. Epub 2018 Jan 30.

Department of Psychiatry, University of Helsinki and Helsinki University Hospital, P.O. Box 22, 00014, Finland. Electronic address:

Background: Psychosis-like experiences (PEs) are common in patients with non-psychotic disorders. Several factors predict reporting of PEs in mood disorders, including mood-associated cognitive biases, anxiety and features of borderline personality disorder (BPD). Childhood traumatic experiences (CEs), often reported by patients with BPD, are an important risk factor for mental disorders. We hypothesized that features of BPD may mediate the relationship between CEs and PEs. In this study, we investigated the relationships between self-reported PEs, CEs and features of BPD in patients with mood disorders.

Methods: As part of the Helsinki University Psychiatric Consortium study, McLean Screening Instrument (MSI), Community Assessment of Psychic Experiences (CAPE-42) and Trauma and Distress Scale (TADS) were filled in by patients with mood disorders (n = 282) in psychiatric care. Correlation coefficients between total scores of scales and their dimensions were estimated, multiple regression and mediation analyses were conducted.

Results: Total scores of MSI correlated strongly with scores of the CAPE-42 dimension "frequency of positive symptoms" (rho = 0.56; p ≤ 0.001) and moderately with scores of TADS (rho = 0.4; p ≤ 0.001). Total score of MSI and its dimension "cognitive symptoms", including identity disturbance, distrustfulness and dissociative symptoms, fully mediated the relation between TADS and CAPE-42. Each cognitive symptom showed a partial mediating role (dissociative symptoms 43% (CI = 25-74%); identity disturbance 40% (CI = 30-73%); distrustfulness 18% (CI = 12-50%)).

Conclusions: Self-reported cognitive-perceptual symptoms of BPD fully mediate, while affective, behavioural and interpersonal symptoms only partially mediate the relationships between CEs and PEs. Recognition of co-morbid features of BPD in patients with mood disorders reporting PEs is essential.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.eurpsy.2017.12.005DOI Listing
March 2018

Psychoactive substance use in specialized psychiatric care patients.

Int J Psychiatry Med 2017 Jul-Sep;52(4-6):399-415

1 Department of Psychiatry, 159841 HYKS sairaanhoitopiiri , University of Helsinki and Helsinki University Hospital, Helsinki, Finland.

Objective Life expectancy of psychiatric patients is markedly shorter compared to the general population, likely partly due to smoking or misuse of other substances. We investigated prevalence and correlates of substance use among psychiatric patients. Methods Within the Helsinki University Psychiatric Consortium Study, data were collected on substance use (alcohol, smoking, and illicit drugs) among patients with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder (n = 113), bipolar (n = 99), or depressive disorder (n = 188). Clinical diagnoses of substance use were recorded, and information on smoking, hazardous alcohol use, or misuse of other substances was obtained using questionnaires. Results One-fourth (27.7%) of the patients had clinical diagnoses of substance use disorders. In addition, in the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test, 43.1% had hazardous alcohol use and 38.4% were daily smokers. All substance use was more common in men than in women. Bipolar patients had the highest prevalence of alcohol use disorders and hazardous use, whereas those with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder were more often daily smokers. In regression analyses, self-reported alcohol consumption was associated with symptoms of anxiety and borderline personality disorder and low conscientiousness. No associations emerged for smoking. Conclusions The vast majority of psychiatric care patients have a diagnosed substance use disorder, hazardous alcohol use, or smoke daily, males more often than females. Bipolar patients have the highest rates of alcohol misuse, schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder patients of smoking. Alcohol use may associate with symptoms of anxiety, borderline personality disorder, and low conscientiousness. Preventive and treatment efforts specifically targeted at harmful substance use among psychiatric patients are necessary.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0091217417738937DOI Listing
June 2018

Relationships between self-reported childhood traumatic experiences, attachment style, neuroticism and features of borderline personality disorders in patients with mood disorders.

J Affect Disord 2017 Mar 14;210:82-89. Epub 2016 Dec 14.

Department of Psychiatry, University of Helsinki and Helsinki University Hospital, Helsinki, Finland; Mental Health Unit, National Institute for Health and Welfare, Helsinki, Finland. Electronic address:

Background: Co-occurring borderline personality disorder (BPD) features have a marked impact on treatment of patients with mood disorders. Overall, high neuroticism, childhood traumatic experiences (TEs) and insecure attachment are plausible aetiological factors for BPD. However, their relationship with BPD features specifically among patients with mood disorders remains unclear. We investigated these relationships among unipolar and bipolar mood disorder patients.

Methods: As part of the Helsinki University Psychiatric Consortium study, the McLean Screening Instrument (MSI), the Experiences in Close Relationships-Revised (ECR-R), the Short Five (S5) and the Trauma and Distress Scale (TADS) were filled in by patients with mood disorders (n=282) in psychiatric care. Correlation coefficients between total scores of scales and their dimensions were estimated, and multivariate regression (MRA) and mediation analyses were conducted.

Results: Spearman's correlations were strong (rho=0.58; p<0.001) between total scores of MSI and S5 Neuroticism and moderate (rho=0.42; p<0.001) between MSI and TADS as well as between MSI and ECR-R Attachment Anxiety. In MRA, young age, S5 Neuroticism and TADS predicted scores of MSI (p<0.001). ECR-R Attachment Anxiety mediated 33% (CI=17-53%) of the relationships between TADS and MSI.

Limitations: Cross-sectional questionnaire study.

Conclusions: We found moderately strong correlations between self-reported BPD features and concurrent high neuroticism, reported childhood traumatic experiences and Attachment Anxiety also among patients with mood disorders. Independent predictors for BPD features include young age, frequency of childhood traumatic experiences and high neuroticism. Insecure attachment may partially mediate the relationship between childhood traumatic experiences and borderline features among mood disorder patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jad.2016.12.004DOI Listing
March 2017

Relationships between self-reported childhood traumatic experiences, attachment style, neuroticism and features of borderline personality disorders in patients with mood disorders.

J Affect Disord 2017 Mar 14;210:82-89. Epub 2016 Dec 14.

Department of Psychiatry, University of Helsinki and Helsinki University Hospital, Helsinki, Finland; Mental Health Unit, National Institute for Health and Welfare, Helsinki, Finland. Electronic address:

Background: Co-occurring borderline personality disorder (BPD) features have a marked impact on treatment of patients with mood disorders. Overall, high neuroticism, childhood traumatic experiences (TEs) and insecure attachment are plausible aetiological factors for BPD. However, their relationship with BPD features specifically among patients with mood disorders remains unclear. We investigated these relationships among unipolar and bipolar mood disorder patients.

Methods: As part of the Helsinki University Psychiatric Consortium study, the McLean Screening Instrument (MSI), the Experiences in Close Relationships-Revised (ECR-R), the Short Five (S5) and the Trauma and Distress Scale (TADS) were filled in by patients with mood disorders (n=282) in psychiatric care. Correlation coefficients between total scores of scales and their dimensions were estimated, and multivariate regression (MRA) and mediation analyses were conducted.

Results: Spearman's correlations were strong (rho=0.58; p<0.001) between total scores of MSI and S5 Neuroticism and moderate (rho=0.42; p<0.001) between MSI and TADS as well as between MSI and ECR-R Attachment Anxiety. In MRA, young age, S5 Neuroticism and TADS predicted scores of MSI (p<0.001). ECR-R Attachment Anxiety mediated 33% (CI=17-53%) of the relationships between TADS and MSI.

Limitations: Cross-sectional questionnaire study.

Conclusions: We found moderately strong correlations between self-reported BPD features and concurrent high neuroticism, reported childhood traumatic experiences and Attachment Anxiety also among patients with mood disorders. Independent predictors for BPD features include young age, frequency of childhood traumatic experiences and high neuroticism. Insecure attachment may partially mediate the relationship between childhood traumatic experiences and borderline features among mood disorder patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jad.2016.12.004DOI Listing
March 2017

[Update on Current Care Guideline: Borderline personality disorder].

Duodecim 2015 ;131(16):1484-5

Borderline personality disorder is a severe disorder that increases disability to a considerable extent. Emotional instability, difficulties in regulating behavior and interpersonal relationships are essential features of the disorder. Borderline personality disorder has a more favorable course than previously thought. Dialectic behavioral therapy, cognitive therapy, mentalization therapy and transference-focused psychotherapy seem to be effective. Hospital treatment should be carried out primarily in day hospital settings. Antipsychotics and mood stabilizers may be used for a range of symptoms. SSRIs may be useful in the treatment of impulsivity and aggression. Benzodiazepines should be avoided.
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November 2015

[How can a doctor meet an anxious patient?].

Duodecim 2014 ;130(5):483-8

A doctor can meet an anxious patient and handle her/his own reactions emerging in the therapeutic relationship. It is especially necessary to focus attention on the phenomena of the therapeutic relationship if the problems are prolonged and the patient and the doctor feel burdened. Mindfulness refers to conscious directing of alertness to the present, and to the approval and permissive perception of both extrinsic and intrinsic events (e.g. thoughts and feelings). The therapeutic relationships of a doctor may be affected by the doctor's presence and willingness to encounter her/his own reactions.
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May 2014

[A patient with personality disorder on a consultation visit].

Duodecim 2010 ;126(20):2389-98

HUS/HYKS, psykiatria, Jorvin klinikkaryhmä PL 800, 00290 HUS.

Personality disorders are disorders of cerebral function, in which the regulation of emotions or impulse control has become disturbed in a manner that impairs the capacity for reciprocal personal relationships. Persons suffering from unstable personality are exceedingly sensitive in reading emotional states from faces. In a crisis situation it is helpful for the patient, if the physician attempts to catch what is valid in the patient's experience and actively messages such understanding to the patient. Supporting the expressions of grief, loneliness and desire for contact is important in treating narcissistic personality disorder.
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December 2010

Screening of psychiatric outpatients for borderline personality disorder with the McLean Screening Instrument for Borderline Personality Disorder (MSI-BPD).

Nord J Psychiatry 2009 Nov;63(6):475-9

Department of Mental Health and Alcohol Research, National Public Health Institute, Helsinki, Finland.

Background: Detecting patients with borderline personality disorder (BPD) is important, and feasible screening instruments are needed.

Aims: To investigate our Finnish translation of the McLean Screening Instrument for Borderline Personality Disorder (MSI-BPD) as a screen for BPD among psychiatric outpatients, its psychometric and screening properties, and feasibility in improving the recognition of BPD.

Methods: We screened 302 consecutive psychiatric outpatients at the Department of Psychiatry at the Helsinki University Central Hospital in Finland for BPD using the Finnish MSI-BPD. Of the patients, 69 (23%) were assigned to a random sample that was stratified according to the number of screens returned to the outpatient clinics, and further stratified into the three strata, high scores deliberately enriched, according to the MSI-BPD scores. Finally, a stratified random sample of 45 patients was interviewed with the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV Axis II Personality Disorders (SCID-II) by the interviewers blind to the patients' MSI-BPD scores.

Results: One third (29%) of 302 screened patients had a positive MSI-BPD. The internal consistency of the MSI-BPD was good (Cronbach's alpha = 0.77). Of the 45 patients interviewed with the SCID-II, 11 (24%) were found to have BPD, five (46%) of whom a previously clinical diagnosis. In a ROC analysis, the optimal cut-off score was 7.

Conclusions: The translated MSI-BPD was found to be a feasible screen for BPD in Finnish psychiatric outpatient care. Further studies investigating the clinical utility of MSI-BPD in larger clinical samples are warranted.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3109/08039480903062968DOI Listing
November 2009

[Not Available].

Duodecim 2007 ;123(12):1398-407

HUS, Jorvin sairaala, Espoonlahden psykiatrian poliklinikka, Espoo.

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April 2008
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