Type D personality, characterized by high levels of negative affectivity and social inhibition, is related to mortality, morbidity, poor health status, quality of life (QoL) and less healthcare utilization in various cardiovascular patient groups. To date, studies in patients with congenital heart disease (CHD) are lacking.
(1) To examine the prevalence of type D personality in CHD patients; (2) to compare type D to non-type D patients with regard to disease severity, functional status, health status and QoL; and (3) to examine the extent to which type D personality is independently related to healthcare utilization.
A total of 1109 adult CHD patients were included in a questionnaire survey. Due to missing data, 302 patients were excluded.
The prevalence of Type D personality was 20.4%. Type D patients reported a poorer functional status, health status and QoL than non-type D patients (p<0.05). Type D patients reported less healthcare use than non-type D patients (primary and cardiac outpatient healthcare: adjusted OR=0.56, 95% CI=0.35-0.90; inpatient healthcare: adjusted OR=0.38, 95% CI=0.17-0.83). Results of a post-hoc analysis showed a high prevalence of type D personality in patients with a poor functional status who did not consult their cardiologist.
type D patients report a poorer functional status, health status and QoL, but less healthcare utilization. In clinical practice, patients should be screened for type D personality, since social inhibition may prevent them from contacting a healthcare provider in the event of symptom aggravation.