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More MS news articles for March 2003

Personality traits in multiple sclerosis (MS) patients with and without fatigue experience

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.


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.