A systematic review of personality disorders and health outcomes

Katherine L. Dixon-Gordon, Diana J. Whalen, Brianne K. Layden, Alexander L. Chapman

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


Personality disorders (PDs) have been associated with a wide swath of adverse health outcomes and correspondingly high costs to health care systems. To date, however, there has not been a systematic review of the literature on health conditions among individuals with PDs. The primary aim of this article is to review research documenting the associations between PDs and health conditions. A systematic review of the literature revealed 78 unique empirical English-language, peer-reviewed articles examining the association of PDs and health outcomes over the past 15 years. Specifically, we reviewed research examining the association of PDs with sleep disturbance, obesity, pain conditions, and other chronic health conditions. In addition, we evaluated research on candidate mechanisms underlying health problems in PDs and potential treatments for such disorders. Results underscore numerous deleterious health outcomes associated with PD features and PD diagnoses and suggest potential biological and behavioural factors that may account for these relations. Guidelines for future research in this area are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)168-190
Number of pages23
JournalCanadian Psychology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2015


  • Medical conditions
  • Personality disorders
  • Systematic review


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