Outcome research in a partial hospital treatment program: An empirical investigation of the relationship of changes in object relations capacity and enhanced ego functions

Daniel J. Papapietro (1996)

Forty-five subjects in a partial hospital program were tested pre- and post-treatment to assess object relations dimensions and reality testing ego functions. The Bell Object Relations Reality Testing Inventory (Bell, 1990) was used to determine the degree to which individuals in treatment experienced structural changes in internal self- and object-representations, and the degree to which ego functions were subsequently enhanced as a result of the modifications of the internal object world. The subjects in this ex post facto study were randomly chosen for inclusion after a two year period of data collection ended. They were divided into three groups based on diagnosis of: (A) schizophrenia, (B) borderline personality disorder, or (C) depression. These three nosological categories were chosen because of their separate and discrete psychological processes. Subjects with confounding issues of substance abuse were excluded. The specific view of psychodynamic change is reviewed in an in-depth literature review of partial hospital treatment, object relations theory, ego theory and outcome research. The statistical analysis and discussion of post-treatment changes identified how nearly all patients experienced statistically significant decreases in scores measuring object relations and reality testing pathology after partial hospital treatment.