Home' Southern Health News : Southern Health News October Contents 8 / OCTOBER 2013 / SOUTHERN HEALTH NEWS
DBT Standard is a resource intensive
therapy which cannot be offered to
as many consumers.
"The Lite program offers a 22-week
skills group to help patients cope
with the day-to-day stresses of life
and get to a point where they don't
have to self-harm.
"Group members are invited to
repeat the course, which includes
sessions on social media, emotion
regulation, mindfulness and stress
tolerance, as repetition fosters
The DBT team has analysed data
from a total of 77 clients who
completed the DBT Lite program and
followed their hospital presentations
for one year after treatment. In the
year prior to joining the program,
each patient had spent an average
of 6.97 days in hospital -- a collective
Statistics taken during the therapy
show hospital bed days reduced to
an average of 1.21 days per person
(93 total) and in the year following
treatment reduced even further to
0.9 bed days (69 total).
The Dialectical Behaviour Therapy
(DBT) program, which is run by the
Outer Southern Mental Health team
from Adaire Clinic in Noarlunga,
provides support for those living
with borderline personality disorder
-- a condition which affects more
than 2 per cent of the population.
People with the disorder often
experience extreme and chaotic
thoughts, feelings and behaviours.
Difficulties include self-harming
behaviours, unstable emotions
such as intense anger, depression
and anxiety, unstable relationships,
low self-esteem and problems with
DBT Program Coordinator Shirley
Hunter said the team offered a
standard and 'lite' version of the
program, with patients categorised
according to their rates of
hospitalisation and self-harm, and
the lethality of their self-harm.
Both forms of the program require
a minimum five month voluntary
commitment from the patient,
with DBT Standard comprised of
individual therapy, phone coaching
and a group skills training program,
and DBT Lite offering a group skills
training program only.
"The innovative aspect of DBT
Lite is that it implements effective
components of DBT individual
therapy in the group context,"
"By offering a DBT Lite program
we are able to provide a service to
a larger number of consumers, as
Promoting a life worth living
BY SARAH GARVIS
A therapy program helping people to overcome a common
mental health disorder is dramatically reducing hospital
admissions across the Southern Adelaide Local Health
BY MONIQUE PASCHKE
A Hypertension Clinic at GP
Plus Marion is helping people
to better control their blood
Run by the Flinders Medical Centre
Clinical Pharmacology Department,
the clinic is a valuable resource for
GPs and staff specialists whose
patients are continuing to present
with unacceptable blood pressure
levels despite changes in lifestyle or
The clinic is headed up by Professor
Arduino Mangoni, who said both
high and low blood pressure, also
known as hypertension, could
have dangerous impacts on health,
particularly the risk of stroke and
"Patients often come to our clinic
for specific testing and work-ups
aimed at finding a correct
diagnosis," he said. "The latter
would help in identifying the best
treatment for individual patients.
"This usually occurs when the blood
pressure cannot be controlled with
traditional treatments or if a GP
is unsure of the reason why the
hypertension is occurring.
"We can provide testing that
is not available in the GP clinic,
including 24 hour blood pressure
monitoring and measurement of
specific hormones controlling blood
Professor Mangoni said
hypertension is an increasing
"About 30 to 40 per cent of
us have high blood pressure,
but around half don't even
know it," he said. "Of the
half of us who do have high
blood pressure, half are not
He also said it is not just a condition
of middle or older age.
"We are certainly seeing more
people in their 20s and 30s
presenting with hypertension which
is a concern.
The total cost of the 537 bed days
that patients spent in hospital before
treatment is estimated at more
than $510,000, reducing to about
$65,000 following treatment -- a
saving of more than $440,000.
The program's success was recently
highlighted on the international
stage with Shirley presenting at
the International Congress on
the Disorders of Personality in
Copenhagen, Denmark last month.
Those wanting to join the DBT
Program must be aged 18 to 65,
have a diagnosis of borderline
personality disorder or meet five of
the nine criteria (as stated in the
Diagnostic and Statistical Manual
of Mental Disorders IV-TR). They
must be referred by a mental
health professional and reside in
the catchment area for the Outer
Southern Mental Health service.
Referrals are accepted from regional
areas that do not offer this service.
For more information, please
contact the DBT Coordinator on
(08) 8384 9599.
Blood pressure help available now
"It is happening at a much younger
age and although we can work out
the causes in some cases, in many
we simply do not know why the
hypertension is occurring."
GPs/specialists can refer to
the clinic by faxing Professor
Mangoni/Professor Wing/Dr Cathy
Miller on fax (08) 8204 6105.
For more information about the
Hypertension Clinic phone
(08) 8204 5193.
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