Personality factors and cognitive functioning in patients with somatic symptom and related disorders

Lars De Vroege*, Jarinne E. Woudstra-de Jong, Arjan C. Videler, Willem J. Kop

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

81 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Objective
Somatic symptom and related disorders (SSRD) are often complicated by cognitive symptoms, including reduced information processing speed, memory, and planning. Depression has been related to poor cognitive functioning in SSRD, but the role of underlying personality factors is poorly understood. This study investigates the association between personality factors (neuroticism, extraversion, openness, agreeableness, and conscientiousness) with cognitive functioning in patients with SSRD.

Methods
Data from 366 patients with SSRD from a tertiary care expert center (mean age = 42.1 years (SD = 13.4), 59.6% women) were analyzed using a cross-sectional design. Neuropsychological assessments included measures of information processing speed, memory, attention, and executive function. Personality factors were assessed using the NEO-FFI and depressive symptoms using the PHQ-9.

Results
Regression analyses showed associations between neuroticism with poorer performance on visual memory (B = −0.09, SE = 0.04, β = −0.14, p = .019), and planning (B = −0.09. SE = 0.02, β = −0.23, p < .001). Extraversion was also inversely associated with visual memory (B = −0.13, SE = 0.05, β = −0.18, p = .011) and planning (B = −0.07, SE = 0.03, β = −0.17, p = .021) and openness was associated with better visual memory (B = 0.17, SE = 0.05, β = 0.19, p = .002). These associations were attenuated but remained significant after adjusting for depressive symptoms.

Conclusion
Neuroticism, extraversion, and low openness were associated with lower cognitive functioning (particularly planning and visual memory) in patients with SSRD, which remained significant after taking depressive symptoms into account.
Original languageEnglish
Article number111067
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Psychosomatic Research
Volume163
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Keywords

  • ANXIETY
  • Cognitive functioning
  • DEPRESSIVE SYMPTOMS
  • EXTROVERSION
  • Information processing speed
  • NEUROTICISM
  • Neuropsychology
  • Neuroticism
  • PERFORMANCE
  • PHQ-9
  • Personality
  • SOMATOFORM
  • SOMATOSENSORY AMPLIFICATION
  • Somatic symptom and related disorders
  • TRAITS

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Personality factors and cognitive functioning in patients with somatic symptom and related disorders'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this