Teaching Corrections Healthcare Staff Effective Therapy Strategies

Date of Completion

January 2011


Health Sciences, Nursing




Inmates suffer from higher rates of Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), a disorder linked to an increased risk for recidivism. Dialectic Behavior Therapy (DBT) has been shown to successfully treat BPD, yet therapy groups are not readily available to inmates. In order to increase staff knowledge of DBT, an exploratory pilot study was developed to test the efficacy of an educational module in DBT for an adult female incarcerated population and to estimate sample size for future studies. Twelve participants, consisting of nursing and social work staff, took part in a two-hour training module to measure the effectiveness of the developed training module. Using participants' pretest and posttest scores, and after statistically adjusting for normality of data, a t-test score was obtained and found a significant change in staff knowledge in DBT post intervention (t (11)=6.0, p=0.000). The power analysis demonstrated that a minimum of 28 participants would be required for future studies in order to decrease the possibility of a Type I statistical error. Further studies with a larger population may be needed to determine what extent first-line caregivers benefit from participating in DBT educational modules. ^ Keywords: recidivism, prison, DBT, BPD, healthcare, education^