Type D personality, concomitant depressive and anxiety disorders, and treatment outcome in Somatic Symptom and Related Disorders: An observational longitudinal cohort study.

L. de Vroege*, E.W. de Heer, E. van der Thiel, K.C. van den Broek, J.F. van Eck van der Sluijs, C.M. van der Feltz-Cornelis

*Corresponding author for this work

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Abstract

Objective: 
To establish the prevalence of Type D personality in patients with somatic symptoms and related disorders and to evaluate the association of Type D personality with treatment outcomes. This study explores the effect of Type D personality and its two traits, negative affectivity (NA) and social inhibition (SI).
Methods: 
In this longitudinal observational cohort study, we assessed the prevalence of Type D in 212 patients presenting themselves at a clinic in Tilburg, the Netherlands. We explored psychological and physical treatment outcomes of a multimodal treatment tailored to patient needs in relation to Type D scores. We explored the differences with regard to physical symptoms, anxiety, and depression. We also explored the differences between patients with and without Type D personality who completed treatment with regard to the baseline scores of physical symptoms, anxiety, and depression. We explored the association between Type D personality and treatment outcome using the traditional dichotomous method and the dimensional method (with main effects of NA and SI, and the interaction of NA × SI).
Results: 
Of the 212 patients with Somatic Symptom and Related Disorders (SSRD), those with Type D personality (181: 61.8%) had experienced significantly higher levels of depression [t = 4.404, p < .001] and anxiety [t = 3.757, p < .001]. Of the 212, 187 patients completed treatment. Mean scores improved significantly for the whole patient group after treatment with regard to depression (p < .001), anxiety (p < .001), and physical symptoms (p < .001). At baseline, patients with Type D personality had significantly higher scores in anxiety [F = 15.707, p < .001] and depression [F = 19.392] than patients without Type D personality who completed treatment. After controlling for the high baseline scores with regard to physical symptoms, anxiety, or depression, only the effect of Type D personality on remission of anxiety was significant (OR = .33, p = 0.39). Neither NA and SI nor the interaction of NA × SI was associated with the treatment outcome.
Conclusions: 
This study shows that Type D personality occurs frequently in patients with SSRD. Type D personality only decreases the probability of remission of anxiety as a treatment outcome, and both NA and SI play a role in this. Type D personality did not decrease remission either of physical symptoms or of depression. Hence, both NA and SI factors may be expressions of anxiety mostly in type D.
Original languageEnglish
Article number417
Number of pages11
JournalFrontiers in Psychiatry
Volume10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Keywords

  • HEART-FAILURE
  • IMPACT
  • PHYSICAL SYMPTOMS
  • PSYCHIATRIC-DISORDERS
  • SEVERITY
  • Type D personality
  • VALIDITY
  • anxiety
  • depression
  • somatic symptom and related disorders
  • treatment outcome

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