Temperament and character dimensions of personality in patients with generalized anxiety disorder
Zeynep Ezgi Bal, Mustafa Solmaz, Derya Adali Aker, Ercan Akin, Samet Kose
Objective: It is known that a complex relationship is present between anxiety and personality. In this study, we aimed to compare the clinical features and personality traits of patients with GAD and healthy controls. We hypothesized that Harm Avoidance scores would be higher and predictive of GAD compared to the healthy controls.
Methods: This study was conducted in outpatients with GAD who presented to the Bagcilar Training and Research Hospital’s Outpatient Psychiatry Clinic. The sample was comprised of 40 outpatient (30 women, 10 men) who met Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders - DSM-5 criteria for GAD, who were not under any medication treatments. The control group comprised of 40 healthy controls (23 women, 17 men). Semi-structured sociodemographic data form, Temperament and Character Inventory (TCI), General Anxiety Disorder Scale (GAD-7), Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), the Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI), State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI-I and II) 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 GAD 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 highly positively correlated with the BDI, BAI, STAI-I / STAI-II, and GAD-7 scores. When GAD-7 scores was entered as the dependent variable and age and gender were controlled in regression analysis, Harm Avoidance and its subscale of Shyness, Persistence, and Self-Transcendence were significantly predictive of GAD-7 scores.
Conclusions: Temperament and character traits of the GAD patients were significantly different from the healthy control subjects. HA scores were higher and predictive of GAD compared to healthy controls.
Key words: General Anxiety Disorder, temperament and character inventory, personality, harm avoidance