Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Personality May Mediate Effects of Childhood Trauma in Patients With Psychosis, Study Finds

Certain adaptive personality traits—such as openness, agreeableness, and conscientiousness—appear to mediate the relationship between traumatic experiences and quality of life and social withdrawal among patients with psychotic disorders, according to a study published online in Schizophrenia Bulletin.

Lindy-Lou Boyette, M.D., of the Department of Psychiatry at the Academic Medical Centre University of Amsterdam, and colleagues used the Five-Factor Model of personality traits (neuroticism, openness, agreeableness, extraversion/introversion, and conscientiousness) to examine these traits and their relationship to quality of life and social withdrawal in 195 patients with psychotic disorders and 132 controls who had experienced either high or low levels of childhood trauma. The researchers assessed whether patients with different profiles differed in social functioning and quality of life (QoL), while controlling for possible confounders.

Patients with higher levels of self-reported traumatic experiences generally showed lower QoL and more social withdrawal compared with patients with lower traumatic experiences. But patients with high levels of trauma who had lower neuroticism and higher extraversion, openness, agreeableness, and conscientiousness also had higher levels of QoL and better social functioning in several areas, compared with patients with both high and low levels of trauma who did not have those adaptive traits. “Our findings indicate that personality may 'buffer' the impact of childhood traumatic experiences on functional outcome in patients with psychotic disorders,” they concluded.

For research on treatment for psychosis that can improve patients' quality of life, see the Psychiatric News article, "Form of CBT Can Improve Stubborn Psychosis Symptoms."
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