Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Curr Opin Psychiatry. 2011 Nov;24(6):478-83. doi: 10.1097/YCO.0b013e32834a349f.

Exploring the impact of personality dimensions in late-life depression: from group comparisons to individual trajectories.

Author information

  • 1Division of Geriatric Psychiatry, University Hospitals of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland.



In last years, the concept of personality moved from the stability of categorical models over the lifespan to the complex interactions between gene, environment, and clinical expression according to the dimensional approaches. Within this framework, studies start to explore the impact of personality on the evolution and treatment of depression in old age.(Figure is included in full-text article.)


Empirical evidence from younger patients has repeatedly confirmed that personality traits predict treatment course and outcome of depression. Epigenetic changes may partly determine the individual differences in personality changes facing life stresses. The limited number of studies on late-life depression revealed the differential impact of personality in early-onset versus late-onset depression. In this age group, the standardized assessment of personality traits allows predicting treatment outcome in psychotherapeutic settings for depressive outpatients. Studies on the interaction between genetic background and personality expression in late life are still missing.


Personality traits emerge as a potentially powerful determinant of the clinical outcome in old-age depression. The integration of psychological and molecular genetics findings offers a new perspective into the personality-depression relationship. Its modulation by the accumulation of individual stressful life-events may play a main role in the outcome of late-life depression.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Lippincott Williams & Wilkins
    Loading ...
    Support Center