Personality Pathology in Primary Care: Ongoing Needs for Detection and Intervention

  • Steven K. HuprichEmail author


Recent studies demonstrate that personality disorders are prevalent within outpatient psychiatry clinics, though they also are quite common in primary care settings. Studies across multiple health care settings demonstrate that those with a known PD have higher incidences of health problems, higher utilization of the health care system, and have a life expectancy 17.7 years less than that of the population in general. Despite these data, little attention has been directed toward detecting, managing, and treating patients with personality pathology in primary care settings. Consequently, it is argued that more attention be devoted to detecting PDs in this population, training physicians and primary care professionals in the rapid screening of personality pathology, the management of patients with personality pathology, and utilizing behavioral health specialists and reliable referral sources to address these problems as part of their overall health care management. Suggestions for how to implement these ideas are offered.


Personality disorders Primary care Personality pathology Personality and health 



Special appreciation is expressed to John H. Porcerelli, PhD, ABPP and Benjamin F. Miller, PsyD for their feedback on an earlier draft of this paper.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

Steven K. Huprich declares that he has no conflict of interest.

Human Rights and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

No human or animal research studies were conducted by the author for this article.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of Detroit MercyDetroitUSA

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