Chronic fatigue syndrome and personality: A case-control study using the alternative five factor model

Naia Sáez-Francàs, Sergi Valero, Natalia Calvo, Montserrat Gomà-i-Freixanet, José Alegre, Tomás Fernández de Sevilla, Miquel Casas

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9 Citations (Scopus)


Neuroticism is the personality dimension most frequently associated with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). Most studies have also shown that CFS patients are less extraverted than non-CFS patients, but results have been inconsistent, possibly because the facets of the extraversion dimension have not been separately analyzed. This study has the following aims: to assess the personality profile of adults with CFS using the Alternative Five-Factor Model (AFFM), which considers Activity and Sociability as two separate factors of Extraversion, and to test the discriminant validity of a measure of the AFFM, the Zuckerman-Kuhlman Personality Questionnaire, in differentiating CFS subjects from normal-range matched controls. The CFS sample consisted of 132 consecutive patients referred for persistent fatigue or pain to the Department of Medicine of a university hospital. These were compared with 132 matched normal population controls. Significantly lower levels of Activity and significantly higher levels of Neuroticism-Anxiety best discriminated CFS patients from controls. The results are consistent with existing data on the relationship between Neuroticism and CFS, and clarify the relationship between Extraversion and CFS by providing new data on the relationship of Activity to CFS. © 2014 Elsevier Ireland Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)373-378
JournalPsychiatry Research
Publication statusPublished - 30 May 2014


  • AFFM
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Extraversion
  • Neuroticism
  • Personality
  • ZKPQ


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