Cloninger's psychobiological model of personality and psychological distress in fibromyalgia

Alba Garcia-Fontanals, Susanna García-Blanco, Mariona Portell, Jesús Pujol, Violant Poca-Dias, Ferran García-Fructuoso, Marina López-Ruiz, Teresa Gutiérrez-Rosado, Montserrat Gomà-i-Freixanet, Joan Deus

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24 Citations (Scopus)


© 2014 Asia Pacific League of Associations for Rheumatology and Wiley Publishing Asia Pty Ltd Aim: Personality can play an important role in the clinical symptoms of fibromyalgia (FM). The aim of this study is to identify personality profiles in FM patients and the possible presence of personality disorder (PD) from the Temperament and Character Inventory-Revised (TCI-R), and to assess whether personality dimensions are related to psychological distress in FM. Method: The sample consisted of 42 patients with FM and 38 healthy controls. The TCI-R, Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, State-Trait Anxiety Inventory, Short-Form-36 Health Survey, Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire and McGill Pain Questionnaire were administered. Results: The personality profile of the FM group based on the TCI-R is defined by high Harm Avoidance (HA), low Novelty Seeking (NS), and low Self-Directedness (SD). Only one-third of patients with FM present a possible psychometric PD, principally from Cluster C. In the FM group, HA and SD are associated positively and negatively, respectively, with indicators of emotional distress. Patients with higher HA present higher perceived pain intensity rated via a verbal-numerical scale while Determination (SD2) reduced the perceived level of pain induced by the stimulus. NS is negatively related to the number of work absences caused by FM. Conclusions: The study suggests that HA and SD play an important role in psychological distress in FM. The fact that SD is prone to modification and has a regulatory effect on emotional impulses is a key aspect to consider from the psychotherapeutic point of view.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)852-863
JournalInternational Journal of Rheumatic Diseases
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2016


  • fibromyalgia
  • personality disorder
  • psychological distress
  • TCI-R


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