Application of the ICD-11 classification of personality disorders

Bach, Bo; First, Michael B.

The ICD-11 classification of Personality Disorders focuses on core personality dysfunction, while allowing the practitioner to classify three levels of severity (Mild Personality Disorder, Moderate Personality Disorder, and Severe Personality Disorder) and the option of specifying one or more prominent trait domain qualifiers (Negative Affectivity, Detachment, Disinhibition, Dissociality, and Anankastia). Additionally, the practitioner is also allowed to specify a Borderline Pattern qualifier. This article presents how the ICD-11 Personality Disorder classification may be applied in clinical practice using five brief cases.

Case presentation
(1) a 29-year-old woman with Severe Personality Disorder, Borderline Pattern, and prominent traits of Negative Affectivity, Disinhibition, and Dissociality; (2) a 36-year-old man with Mild Personality Disorder, and prominent traits of Negative Affectivity and Detachment; (3) a 26-year-old man with Severe Personality Disorder, and prominent traits of Dissociality, Disinhibition, and Detachment; (4) a 19-year-old woman with Personality Difficulty, and prominent traits of Negative Affectivity and Anankastia; (5) a 53-year-old man with Moderate Personality Disorder, and prominent traits of Anankastia and Dissociality.

The ICD-11 Personality Disorder classification was applicable to five clinical cases, which were classified according to Personaity Disorder severity and trait domain qualifiers. We propose that the classification of severity may help inform clinical prognosis and intensity of treatment, whereas the coding of trait qualifiers may help inform the focus and style of treatment. Empirical investigation of such important aspects of clinical utility are warranted.


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March 29, 2019


ICD-11, Classification, Personality disorder, Severity, Trait