Personality and chronic pain

P. Infante Vargas, G. García Parés, J. Moix Queraltó, M. Cañellas Arsegol, S. Subirá Álvarez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: The purpose of the present study was to analyze whether personality characteristics as observed with the results of a Cloninger questionnaire couid be considered as variables in the chronic pain process. Our objective, in short, was to prove whether personality characteristics related to anxiety, depression or pain suffered by the patient. Materials and Methods: We evaluated a 68 chronic pain patient sample at the Pain Clinic in Pare Taulí Hospital, Sabadell. Instruments employed were Temperament and Character Inventory (TCI) (10), Anxiety State and Traits Inventory (STAI) (18), Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) (19) and a Visual Analogic Scale (VAS) to measure pain intensity. Results: The results of the Cloninger questionnaire point out that the chronic pain patient characteristically shows a higher score in the Harm Avoidance (HA) as well as a lower score in Novelty Seeking (NS), Persistence (P) and Self Directedness (SD) tests when compared to the general population. High HA and low SD scores correlate with a higher emotional indisposition level (depression and anxiety). Our results finally show that none of the TCI levels appear to affect pain intensity but that the presence of depressive symptoms do correlate with the same in our population. Conclusions: Character and temperament characteristics considered as a whole in our chronic pain patients seem to point to a more disadapted or unadjusted personality pattern when compared to the general population. It seems probable that such a personality pattern favors the onset of chronic pain or its maintenance, although more prospective studies are indicated to safely affirm such a coincidence.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17-24
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 30 Sep 2005


  • Anxiety
  • Chronic Pain
  • Depression
  • Personality
  • Temperament and Character Inventory (TCI)

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