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Personality affects aspects of health-related quality of life in Parkinson's disease via psychological coping strategies


Whitworth, SR and Loftus, AM and Skinner, TC and Gasson, N and Barker, RA and Bucks, RS and Thomas, MG, Personality affects aspects of health-related quality of life in Parkinson's disease via psychological coping strategies, Journal of Parkinson's Disease, 3, (1) pp. 45-53. ISSN 1877-7171 (2013) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2013 IOS Press and the authors

DOI: doi:10.3233/JPD-120149


Background: Personality traits influence health-related quality of life (HRQoL) in Parkinson's disease (PD). Further, an individual's personality traits can influence the strategies they use to cope with a particular stressful situation. However, in PD, the interplay between personality traits, choice of coping strategy, and their subsequent effect on HRQoL remains unclear.

Objective: The objective of this study was to examine whether personality (neuroticism and extraversion) indirectly affects HRQoL through the use of specific psychological coping strategies.

Methods: One hundred and forty-six patients with PD completed questionnaires on personality (Big Five Aspects Scale; BFAS), coping (Ways of Coping Questionnaire; WCQ), and mood-specific (Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scale; DASS-21) and disease-specific HRQoL (Parkinson's Disease Questionnaire; PDQ-39).

Results: After controlling for gender, age at diagnosis, and age at testing, the emotion-focused coping strategy of escape-avoidance was significantly correlated with neuroticism and certain aspects of HRQoL (cognitive impairment and social support). This suggests that neurotic personality traits may negatively impact on some aspects of HRQoL due to an increased use of escape-avoidance coping strategies. By contrast, planned problem-solving and escape-avoidance coping strategies were both significantly linked to extraversion and interpersonal and mood-related domains of HRQoL. This suggests that extraversion may positively impact on some aspects of HRQoL due to patients adopting greater planned, problem-solving coping strategies, and using fewer escape-avoidance coping mechanisms.

Conclusions: Psychological interventions aimed at targeting maladaptive coping strategies, such as the use of escape-avoidance coping, may be effective in minimising the negative impact of neuroticism on HRQoL in PD.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Parkinson disease, coping skills, personality, extraversion (psychology), quality of life
Research Division:Psychology
Research Group:Clinical and health psychology
Research Field:Health psychology
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Evaluation of health and support services
Objective Field:Evaluation of health outcomes
UTAS Author:Skinner, TC (Professor Timothy Skinner)
ID Code:88127
Year Published:2013
Web of Science® Times Cited:31
Deposited By:Rural Clinical School
Deposited On:2014-01-13
Last Modified:2017-01-11

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