Prevalence of DSM-IV Personality Disorders in Patients with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: A Controlled Study
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It is not yet clear whether chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is associated with elevated levels of personality disorders.
This study aims to determine the prevalence of DSM-IV axis II personality disorders among patients with CFS.
We examined the prevalence of personality disorders in a sample of 92 female CFS patients and in two well-matched control groups, i.e., normal community individuals (N = 92) and psychiatric patients (N = 92). Participants completed the assessment of DSM-IV personality disorders questionnaire (ADP-IV), which yields a categorical and dimensional evaluation of personality disorder features.
The prevalence of personality disorders in CFS patients (16.3 %) was significantly lower than in psychiatric patients (58.7 %) and was similar to that in the community sample (16.3 %). Similar results were found for dimensional and pseudodimensional scores, except for the Depressive (DE) and Obsessive–Compulsive Personality Disorder (O-C) subscales. Patients with CFS had significantly higher levels of DE features compared to normal controls and similar dimensional scores on the O-C scale compared to psychiatric controls.
Although the CFS sample was characterized by depressive and obsessive–compulsive personality features, this study provides no evidence for the assumption that these patients generally show a higher prevalence of axis II pathology. Given the conflicting findings in this area, future studies using multiple measures to assess personality disorders in CFS are needed to substantiate these findings.
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- Prevalence of DSM-IV Personality Disorders in Patients with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: A Controlled Study
International Journal of Behavioral Medicine
Volume 20, Issue 2 , pp 219-228
- Cover Date
- Print ISSN
- Online ISSN
- Springer US
- Additional Links
- Chronic fatigue
- Personality disorders
- Functional somatic syndromes
- Author Affiliations
- 1. Department of Psychology, University of Leuven, Tiensestraat 102, 3000, Leuven, Belgium
- 2. Department of Psychiatry, Antwerp University Hospital, Edegem, Antwerp, Belgium
- 3. Collaborative Antwerp Psychiatric Research Institute, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Antwerp, Antwerp, Belgium
- 4. Department of Clinical Psychology, Universitair Ziekenhuis Brussel and Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Brussels, Belgium
- 5. Department of Clinical and Lifespan Psychology, Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Brussels, Belgium
- 6. Department of Psychiatry, University Hospitals Leuven, University of Leuven, Leuven, Belgium
- 7. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Reference Center, University Hospitals Leuven, University of Leuven, Pellenberg, Belgium
- 8. Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, University Hospitals Leuven, University of Leuven, Leuven, Belgium
- 9. Research Department of Clinical, Educational and Health Psychology, University College London, London, UK