Temperament and character dimensions of personality in patients with chronic pain disorders
Derya Adali Aker, Samet Kose, Mustafa Solmaz, Zeynep Ezgi Bal, Ercan Akin
Objective: It is known that a complex relationship is present between chronic pain and personality. In this study, we aimed to compare the clinical features and personality traits of patients with Chronic Pain Disorder (CPD) and healthy controls. We hypothesized that Harm Avoidance (HA) scores would be higher and predictive of compared to healthy controls.
Methods: This study was conducted in outpatients with CPD who presented to the Bagcilar Training and Research Hospital’s Outpatient Psychiatry Clinic. The sample was comprised of 60 outpatients (53 women, 7 men) who complained of chronic pain for at least 3 months and were not under any medication treatments. The control group comprised of 60 healthy controls (49 women, 11 men). Semi-structured sociodemographic data form, Visual Analog Scale (VAS), Temperament and Character Inventory (TCI), Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), and the Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI) were administered to the participants. All statistical analyses were performed using SPSS for Windows, Version 23.0.
Results: Impulsiveness subscale of Novelty Seeking; Harm Avoidance and its subscales of Anticipatory worry, Fear of uncertainty, Shyness with strangers, and Fatigability and asthenia scores were significantly higher in CPD patients compared to the control group. Harm Avoidance and its subscales of Anticipatory worry, Fear of uncertainty, Shyness with strangers, and Fatigability and asthenia scores were significantly positively correlated with the BDI, BAI, and VAS scores. When VAS scores were entered as the dependent variable and age and gender were controlled in regression analysis, Harm Avoidance was significantly predictive of VAS scores.
Conclusion: Temperament and character traits of the CPD patients were significantly different from the healthy control subjects. HA scores were higher and predictive of CPD compared to healthy controls.
Key words: chronic pain, personality, temperament and character inventory (TCI)