Association Between Personality Traits and Functional Limitations in Older Adults with Affective Disorders: A Cross Sectional Study

Manon van Steen, Monique Zoet, Gert Jan Hendriks, Didi Rhebergen, Astrid Lugtenburg, Monique Lammers, Rob van den Brink, Radboud Marijnissen, Richard Oude Voshaar, Rose M Collard, Paul Naarding

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Abstract

OBJECTIVES: Personality traits and affective disorders are both related to functional limitations. It is unknown whether personality traits have an additional effect on functioning in older adults with affective disorders. We studied the association between personality traits and functioning within this group.

METHODS: We performed a cross-sectional study of 180 older patients referred to outpatient specialized geriatric mental health care centers with a depressive, anxiety and/or somatic symptom disorder according to DSM-criteria. We studied the association between the Big Five personality traits and functional limitations assessed with the WHO-DAS II, adjusting for potential confounders, including the severity of various affective disorders.

RESULTS: The 180 patients (57.1% female, mean age 69.2 years) had an average WHO-DAS II score of 31.3 (SD 15.1). Lower scores on Conscientiousness were associated with more overall functional limitations ( p  = .001), particularly limitations in self-care ( p  = .001) and household activities ( p = .001). Lower Extraversion scores were associated with more limitations in getting along with others ( p  = .001).

CONCLUSIONS: Personality traits are related to functional limitations independent of the severity of affective disorders in older adults.

CLINICAL IMPLICATIONS: Personality traits may be used as predictive factors for functioning in older adults with affective disorders.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages12
JournalClinical Gerontologist
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 29-Jul-2023

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