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Acta Oncol. 2009;48(6):842-9. doi: 10.1080/02841860902795232.

The personality trait of neuroticism is strongly associated with long-term morbidity in testicular cancer survivors.

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Department of Clinical Cancer Research, The Norwegian Radium Hospital, Oslo University Hospital, Oslo, Norway.



Neuroticism is a personality trait expressing nervousness and insecurity. Associations between neuroticism and morbidity in long-term cancer survivors have hardly been explored. The aim of this study was to explore associations between neuroticism and somatic and mental morbidity and lifestyle issues in long-term survivors of testicular cancer (TCSs).


All Norwegian TCSs treated between 1980 and 1994 (n = 1 814) were invited to this cross-sectional study. Among them 1 428 (79% response rate) delivered valid data. Neuroticism was self-rated on an abridged version of the Eysenck Personality Inventory. Information was collected by mailed questionnaires. The associations of neuroticism and self-reported variables were tested with multivariate logistic regression analyses.


Neuroticism was significantly associated with presence of somatic complaints, reduced physical function, neurotoxic side-effects (tinnitus, hearing impairment, peripheral neuropathy, and Raynaud's Phenomenon), self-esteem, concerns about not being able to father children, sexual problems, hazardous alcohol use, daily use of medication, use of sedatives and hypnotics, recent visits to a general practitioner, and seeing a psychologist/ psychiatrist after ended cancer treatment. Poor self-rated health, higher number of negative life events, economical problems and problems getting loans granted showed significant associations with neuroticism.


Neuroticism in TCSs at long-term follow-up is significantly associated with somatic and mental morbidities, and several aspects of unhealthy lifestyle. High levels of neuroticism should be considered in TCSs expressing multiple complaints and concerns at follow-up consultations. Assessment of neuroticism may be clinically important in order to offer appropriate interventions to prevent and manage morbidity in TCSs.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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