Type D (distressed) personality is associated with poor quality of life and mental health among 3080 cancer survivors

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Background: This study assessed the association between Type D personality (the conjoint effect of negative affectivity and social inhibition) and quality of life (QoL) and mental health of cancer survivors up to 10 years post-diagnosis. Methods: All currently alive individuals diagnosed with endometrial or colorectal cancer between 1998 and 2007, or with lymphoma or multiple myeloma between 1999 and 2008 as registered in the Eindhoven Cancer Registry received a questionnaire on Type D personality (DS14), QoL (SF-36 or EORTC-QLQ-C30) and mental health (HADS). Results: Of the 3080 survivors who responded (69%), 572 (19%) had a Type D personality. Type D survivors had clinically meaningful lower levels of general health, social functioning, role-function emotional, mental health and vitality compared to non-Type D's (SF-36: all P's < 0.001). They also reported clinically meaningful worse emotional and social functioning, global health status/QoL, and more fatigue (EORTC-QLQ-C30: all P's < 0.001). This was also confirmed by multivariate logistic regression analyses showing that cancer survivors with a Type D personality were more likely to experience a decreased QoL on all SF-36 and EORTC-QLQ-C30 scales (all ORs ranging between 1.88 and 5.56). The proportion of survivors reporting an impaired QoL was higher among Type D (35-64%) than non-Type D's (20-36%). Finally, Type D's were more likely to be depressed (44% vs. 13%; P < 0.0001) or anxious (51% vs. 14%; P < 0.0001). Conclusions: Cancer survivors with a Type D personality are at increased risk of impaired QoL and mental health problems that cannot be explained by socio-demographic or clinical characteristics. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.




Mols, F., Thong, M. S. Y., De Poll-Franse, L. V. V., Roukema, J. A., & Denollet, J. (2012). Type D (distressed) personality is associated with poor quality of life and mental health among 3080 cancer survivors. Journal of Affective Disorders, 136(1–2), 26–34. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jad.2011.08.034

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