Background: The Borderline Symptom List (BSL) was developed as a self-rating instrument to specifically quantify borderline-typical symptomatology. The items are based on the criteria of the DSM-IV, the Diagnostic Interview for Borderline Personality Disorder – revised version, the opinions of clinical experts and borderline patients. The psychometric properties and validity of the BSL have been investigated in several studies. Sampling and Methods: A total of 380 borderline patients and 204 healthy controls scored the items. A factor analysis of the BSL items suggests the following subscales: ‘self-perception’, ‘affect regulation’, ‘self-destruction’, ‘dysphoria’, ‘loneliness’, ‘intrusions’ and ‘hostility’. Results: Theinternal reliability as well as the test-retest reliability within 1 week are high. Different aspects of validity (e.g. comparison between groups) provide favorable results. Pre-post comparisons after 3 months of dialectical behavioral treatment reveal a significant reduction of the total score and of 5 of the 7 subscales. Conclusions: This indicates that the BSL is sensitive to therapeutically induced change of borderline-typical impairment.

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