Evidence for DBT

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.

RCT and Non-RCT Summaries

Click below for archived, printable summaries of RCT and non-RCT studies.

DBT Research Updates

Research on DBT is rapidly expanding, and new studies are being published at increasingly accelerated rates. A PsycInfo search shows an average of 8 published and peer-reviewed DBT articles per year from 1993 to 2000, 41 publications per year from 2001 to 2010, and 78 per year since 2011. As a result, staying current on the latest findings in DBT research can be quite challenging.

You can review DBT research updates on Behavioral Tech.org. This webpage is updated regularly to provide researchers, clinicians, clients, and their families with the most up-to-date evidence available on DBT.

We also encourage you to search on your own with sites like Google Scholar, or visit the US National Institutes of Health to search the registry of worldwide, ongoing DBT clinical trials.