, Volume 10, Issue 7, pp 1243–1254 | Cite as

Effects of Mindfulness Training on Borderline Personality Disorder: Impulsivity Versus Emotional Dysregulation

  • Cristina Carmona i Farrés
  • Matilde Elices
  • Joaquim SolerEmail author
  • Elisabet Domínguez-Clavé
  • Edith Pomarol-Clotet
  • Raymond Salvador
  • Juan C. Pascual


Emotion dysregulation (ED) and impulsivity are the two core characteristics of borderline personality disorder (BPD). Although the mindfulness module of dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) has proven effective to treat general BPD symptomatology, no studies have yet been conducted to determine whether mindfulness specifically targets impulsivity and/or ED in patients with BPD. Therefore, the aim of the current study was to examine the impact of mindfulness training on those two characteristics. A clinical sample (n = 70) of individuals with BPD were randomized to one of two interventions: DBT mindfulness skills training (DBT-M) or DBT interpersonal effectiveness skills training (DBT-IE). Participants were assessed prior to treatment and at the end of the 10-week training program. Assessment included measures of impulsivity, emotion dysregulation, BPD severity, and mindfulness facets. Our findings showed that impulsivity decreased in the DBT-M group but not in the DBT-IE group. BPD psychopathology and some aspects of ED (e.g., emotional clarity and emotional acceptance) improved in both groups. These results show that the mindfulness module of DBT improves both emotion regulation and impulsivity. Trial Registration: NCT03363230


Borderline personality disorder Mindfulness Emotional dysregulation Impulsivity 



We would like to thank all participants of the study. We also thank Bradley Londres for editing and improving the text of this manuscript.

Author Contributions

CCF executed the study, assisted with data analyses, and wrote the initial version of the manuscript. ME assisted with data analyses and edited the final manuscript. JS designed the study and collaborated with data analysis and writing the manuscript. EDC collaborated with the writing of the manuscript and data analyses. EPC and RS collaborated with the writing of the manuscript. JCP collaborated with the design, writing of the study, and data analyses.

Funding Information

This study was supported by the Centro de Investigación Biomédica en Red de Salud Mental (CIBERSAM) and by a grant from Instituto de Salud Carlos III (PI13/00134) and co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. The study was approved by the Clinical Research Ethics Committee of the Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau (Barcelona, Spain).

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Cristina Carmona i Farrés
    • 1
    • 2
  • Matilde Elices
    • 1
    • 3
  • Joaquim Soler
    • 1
    • 3
    Email author
  • Elisabet Domínguez-Clavé
    • 1
  • Edith Pomarol-Clotet
    • 3
    • 4
  • Raymond Salvador
    • 3
    • 4
  • Juan C. Pascual
    • 1
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of PsychiatryHospital de la Santa Creu i Sant PauBarcelonaSpain
  2. 2.Department of Psychiatry and Forensic MedicineAutonomous University of BarcelonaBarcelonaSpain
  3. 3.Centro de Investigación Biomédica en Red de Salud Mental CIBERSAMMadridSpain
  4. 4.FIDMAG Germanes Hospitalàries Research FoundationBarcelonaSpain

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