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J Psychosom Res. 2014 Jan;76(1):80-3. doi: 10.1016/j.jpsychores.2013.11.008. Epub 2013 Nov 16.

Anxious, introverted personality traits in patients with chronic subjective dizziness.

Author information

1
Department of Psychiatry and Psychology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, USA. Electronic address: staab.jeffrey@mayo.edu.
2
Department of Psychiatry and Psychology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, USA.
3
Department of Neurology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, USA.
4
Vestibular Laboratory, Division of Audiology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

Chronic subjective dizziness (CSD) is a neurotologic disorder of persistent non-vertiginous dizziness, unsteadiness, and hypersensitivity to one's own motion or exposure to complex visual stimuli. CSD usually follows acute attacks of vertigo or dizziness and is thought to arise from patients' failure to re-establish normal locomotor control strategies after resolution of acute vestibular symptoms. Pre-existing anxiety or anxiety diathesis may be risk factors for CSD. This study tested the hypothesis that patients with CSD are more likely than individuals with other chronic neurotologic illnesses to possess anxious, introverted personality traits.

METHODS:

Data were abstracted retrospectively from medical records of 40 patients who underwent multidisciplinary neurotology evaluations for chronic dizziness. Twenty-four subjects had CSD. Sixteen had chronic medical conditions other than CSD plus co-existing anxiety disorders. Group differences in demographics, Dizziness Handicap Inventory (DHI) scores, Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) scores, DSM-IV diagnoses, personality traits measured with the NEO Personality Inventory - Revised (NEO-PI-R), and temperaments composed of NEO-PI-R facets were examined.

RESULTS:

There were no differences between groups in demographics, mean DHI or HADS-anxiety scores, or DSM-IV diagnoses. The CSD group had higher mean HADS-depression and NEO-PI-R trait anxiety, but lower NEO-PI-R extraversion, warmth, positive emotions, openness to feelings, and trust (all p<0.05). CSD subjects were significantly more likely than comparison subjects to have a composite temperament of high trait anxiety plus low warmth or excitement seeking.

CONCLUSION:

An anxious, introverted temperament is strongly associated with CSD and may be a risk factor for developing this syndrome.

KEYWORDS:

Anxiety; Chronic dizziness; Introversion; Neuroticism; Risk factor; Temperament

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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