Digital Public Defence: Tore Buer Christensen

MD Tore Buer Christensen at Institute of Clinical Medicine will be defending the thesis “Towards a more valid and useful system for diagnosing personality disorders - Evaluating impairment of personality functioning by the SCID-5-AMPD-I” for the degree of PhD (Philosophiae Doctor).

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The public defence will be held as a video conference over Zoom.

The defence will follow regular procedure as far as possible, hence it will be open to the public and the audience can ask ex auditorio questions when invited to do so.

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Digital Trial Lecture – time and place

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Adjudication committee

  • First opponent: Associate Professor Birgitte Thylstrup, Department of Psychology and Behavioural Sciences, Aarhus University, Denmark
  • Second opponent: Associate Professor Jens Thimm, Faculty of Psychology, University of Bergen
  • Third member and chair of the evaluation committee: Professor Toril Dammen, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oslo

Chair of the Defence

Professor Lars Mehlum, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oslo

Principal Supervisor

Senior Researcher Benjamin Hummelen, Oslo University Hospital


During the development of the fifth edition of the DSM (DSM-5), a new diagnostic model for personality disorders (PDs) was proposed in order to address several shortcomings in the categorical DSM-IV approach. This model introduced two new general dimensional criteria, Criterion A, a severity dimension of personality functioning based on common core features of personality pathology, and Criterion B, representing pathological personality traits. However, the traditional model was continued almost without changes, and the proposed model was placed in a Section III as an Alternative Model for Personality Disorders (AMPD) in need of further scientific evaluation. The AMPD Criterion A is operationalized by the Level of Personality Functioning Scale (LPFS), the most innovative part of this model. The LPFS aims to define both the presence and the severity of personality pathology by delineating five levels of impairment, ranging from 0 to 4.

The thesis aims to examine the reliability and validity of the LPFS, as assessed by the new Structured Clinical Interview for the DSM-5 AMPD, Module I (SCID-5-AMPD-I), in a combined clinical/non-clinical sample of 317 participants. The sample included 282 patients, 192 with a PD, recruited from different sites and representing the whole specter of severity. The reliability of the LPFS was tested through a dual design, including both a video-observer method and a test-retest design. We found that the LPFS could be reliably assessed by the SCID-5-AMPD-I interview. Furthermore, we found a level 2 of personality functioning to be a reasonable threshold for receiving any DSM-IV PD diagnosis. Through a series of regression analysis we also found the LPFS to be a significant stronger predictor of psychosocial functioning than the DSM-IV criteria. Within the LPFS, self-related impairment was the strongest predictor. The study provided important empirical support for the AMPD, but also suggested some revisions of Criterion A.

Additional information

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Published Oct. 27, 2020 12:41 PM - Last modified Nov. 11, 2020 10:20 AM