The association of major depressive episode and personality traits in patients with fibromyalgia

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INTRODUCTION: Personality traits have been associated with primary depression. However, it is not known whether this association takes place in the case of depression comorbid with fibromyalgia. OBJECTIVE: The authors investigated the association between a current major depressive episode and temperament traits (e.g., harm avoidance). METHOD: A sample of 69 adult female patients with fibromyalgia was assessed with the Temperament and Character Inventory. Psychiatric diagnoses were assessed with the Mini-International Neuropsychiatric Interview severity of depressive symptomatology with the Beck Depression Inventory, and anxiety symptomatology with the IDATE-state and pain intensity with a visual analog scale. RESULTS: A current major depressive episode was diagnosed in 28 (40.5%) of the patients. They presented higher levels of harm avoidance and lower levels of cooperativeness and self-directedness compared with non-depressed patients, which is consistent with the Temperament and Character Inventory profile of subjects with primary depression. However, in contrast to previous results in primary depression, no association between a major depressive episode and self-transcendence was found. CONCLUSIONS: The results highlight specific features of depression in fibromyalgia subjects and may prove important for enhancing the diagnosis and prognosis of depression in fibromyalgia patients. © 2011 CLINICS.




Santos, D. de M., Lage, L. V., Jabur, E. K., Kaziyama, H. H. S., Iosifescu, D. V., de Lucia, M. C. S., & Fráguas, R. (2011). The association of major depressive episode and personality traits in patients with fibromyalgia. Clinics, 66(6), 973–978.

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