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Psychol Health Med. 2017 Feb;22(2):152-161. Epub 2016 Mar 18.

Personality in multiple sclerosis (MS): impact on health, psychological well-being, coping, and overall quality of life.

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a Kessler Foundation , West Orange , NJ , USA.
b Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, New Jersey Medical School , Rutgers - State University of New Jersey , Newark , NJ , USA.


Personality has long been considered a factor that can account for differences in health, well-being, and overall quality of life (QOL). A 'Distressed or Type D Personality' has been studied in medical populations as a predictor of several outcomes. The purpose of the present investigation was to determine the presence of Type D Personality in multiple sclerosis (MS) and its role on disease symptoms, disease management, health-related behaviors, coping, psychological well-being, and overall QOL and functioning. Two hundred and thirty (230) individuals with MS completed a survey assessing personality, disease symptoms, disease management, coping, self-efficacy, locus of control (LOC), psychological well-being, and QOL. Thirty-seven (16%) individuals were found to be 'Type D+.' Such individuals reported greater fatigue, pain, depression, and anxiety and worse disease management and adherence. They also reported engaging in maladaptive means of coping. Compared to 'Type D-' they reported lower self-efficacy, LOC, QOL and greater perceived stress. Finally, 'Type D+' individuals were more likely to be considering leaving the workforce. Findings suggest that 'Type D' Personality is associated with various negative outcomes in MS. Consideration of the routine assessment of personality in MS seems warranted and may better inform interventions and ward off poor outcomes.


Multiple sclerosis; coping; health; personality

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