There is a wealth of evidence supporting the effectiveness of DBT. The first randomized controlled trial (RCT) of DBT was published in 1991, in which Dr. Marsha Linehan and her colleagues found that DBT resulted in significant improvements for chronically suicidal and self-injuring women with borderline personality disorder, a clinical population that had previously been viewed as untreatable (Linehan et al., 1991).
In the decades since this landmark study, DBT has been extensively researched for individuals with a wide range of mental health conditions receiving treatment in diverse practice settings around the world.
This page links to summary information on DBT research; for a synthesis of who is helped by DBT, visit How DBT Helps.
On this page:
DBT Research Domains
Click on the sections below to find information about key DBT studies in multiple research domains.
- Efficacy Trials: DBT studies conducted in research settings
- Effectiveness Trials: DBT studies conducted in community settings
- Dissemination & Implementation: Transferring DBT to a routine clinical practice
- Mechanisms of Action: Evaluating how DBT works
- Meta-Analyses & Systematic Reviews: Comprehensive reviews of DBT treatment research
RCT and Non-RCT Summaries
Click below for archived, printable summaries of RCT and non-RCT studies (refer to DBT Research Domains for current information).