Acta Neurol Scand 2003 Mar;107(3):195-201
Merkelbach S, Konig J, Sittinger H.
Department of Neurology, Institute of Medical Biometrics, Epidemiology and Medical Informatics, and Department of Psychiatry, Saarland University, D-66421 Homburg/Saar, Germany.
To determine the impact of personality characteristics on feelings of fatigue in multiple sclerosis (MS) patients and to compare the results with the impact of bodily impairment.
PATIENTS AND METHODS -:
Eighty patients with definite MS (mean age 38.5 +/- 9.0 years, 62 females) were surveyed using questionnaires assessing fatigue experience and personality traits (German Freiburg Personality Inventory-Revised; FPI-R) and by clinical examination assessing the Expanded Disability Status Scale.
Increased levels of "neuroticism", and "excitability" and decreased levels of "extraversion" were found to relate independent of fatigue scores (0.21 < beta < 0.52; 0.05 < P < 0.0001).
The impact of these personality traits on fatigue (partial R2 ranging up to 0.32; 0.02 < P < 0.0001) was much higher than the impact of physical impairment (partial R2 ranging up to 0.04; not significant).
Our results support a psychological model of fatigue in MS.
FPI-R-items over-weighted somatic sources of the fatigue syndrome in MS and may specifically relate to fatigue experience in chronical disorders.