, Volume 18, Issue 1, pp 33-42
Date: 07 Nov 2008

Neuroticism and extraversion in association with quality of life in patients with Parkinson’s disease

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Abstract

Purpose

Personality traits appear as determinants of quality of life (QoL) in most chronic diseases. The aim of this study is to explore whether neuroticism and extraversion contribute to the variance in QoL in patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD) when controlled for age, functional status and disease duration.

Methods

The Parkinson’s Disease Quality of Life Questionnaire (PDQ-39) was used to assess QoL and the Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS) for disease severity. Neuroticism and extraversion were measured with the Eysenck Personality Questionnaire (EPQR-A). Multiple linear regression analysis was then used to assess the contribution of neuroticism and extraversion to QoL.

Results

The sample consisted of 153 PD patients (48.4% women; 67.9 ± 9.3 years; mean disease duration 7.5 ± 5.8 years). Neuroticism was, after disease severity, the second most important variable associated with QoL in PD patients, in particular for domains associated with psychological processes: emotional well-being, social support, stigma and communication. A higher score in extraversion was significantly associated with better emotional well-being in males, but surprisingly, with worse emotional well-being in females.

Conclusions

After functional status, personality traits were clearly associated with QoL in PD patients. Therefore, they should be taken into account by health-care professionals in their appraisal of patient complaints.