Can health care providers recognise a fibromyalgia personality?

José A.P. Da Silva, Johannes W.G. Jacobs*, Jaime C. Branco, Rita Canaipa, M. Filomena Gaspar, Ed N. Griep, T. van Helmond, Paula J. Oliveira, T. R. Zijlstra, Rinie Geenen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Objective. To determine if experienced health care providers (HCPs) can recognise patients with fibromyalgia (FM) based on a limited set of personality items, exploring the existence of a FM personality. Methods. From the 240-item NEO-PIR personality questionnaire, 8 HCPs from two different countries each selected 20 items they considered most discriminative of FM personality. Then, evaluating the scores on these items of 129 female patients with FM and 127 female controls, each HCP rated the probability of FM for each individual on a 0-10 scale. Personality characteristics (domains and facets) of selected items were determined. Scores of patients with FM and controls on the eight 20-item sets, and HCPs' estimates of each individual's probability of FM were analysed for their discriminative value. Results. The eight 20-item sets discriminated for FM, with areas under the receiver operating characteristic curve ranging from 0.71-0.81. The estimated probabilities for FM showed, in general, percentages of correct classifications above 50%, with rising correct percentages for higher estimated probabilities. The most often chosen and discriminatory items were predominantly of the domain neuroticism (all with higher scores in FM), followed by some items of the facet trust (lower scores in FM). Conclusion. HCPs can, based on a limited set of items from a personality questionnaire, distinguish patients with FM from controls with a statistically significant probability. The HCPs' expectation that personality in FM patients is associated with higher levels for aspects of neuroticism (proneness to psychological distress) and lower scores for aspects of trust, proved to be correct.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)43-49
Number of pages7
JournalClinical and Experimental Rheumatology
Volume35
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes

Cite this

Da Silva, J. A. P., Jacobs, J. W. G., Branco, J. C., Canaipa, R., Gaspar, M. F., Griep, E. N., ... Geenen, R. (2017). Can health care providers recognise a fibromyalgia personality? Clinical and Experimental Rheumatology, 35, 43-49.