On 3 September 2019 at 15.00 Ülle Võhma will defend her doctoral thesis „Association between personality traits, clinical characteristics and pharmacological treatment response in panic disorder“.
Senior Research Fellow in Psychiatry Eduard Maron
Associate Professor in Clinical Psychology Anu Aluoja
Associate Professor in Psychiatry Innar Tõru
Virginija Adomaitiene (PhD), Head of Psychiatry Clinic, Lithuanian University of Health Sciences, Kaunas, Lithuania
What kind of personality traits characterise PD patients? What kind of assessment method would be useful to measure these traits? These questions led us to query of how personality traits and pharmacological treatment of PD are related. The Swedish universities Scales of Personality (SSP) was used for evaluation of personality traits. The SSP subscales form three factors: Neuroticism, Aggressiveness and Extraversion.
Estonian data revealed that the three-factor structure of the SSP was similar to the preliminary Swedish results. Personality traits of PD patients differed from healthy controls. We found higher Neuroticism, Aggressiveness and Somatic Trait Anxiety in patients with PD. The third study found that all SSP sub-scales declined during a 12-week treatment of PD. None of the baseline scores of SSP subscales were associated with the treatment response on a strong level. Only a higher score of Impulsivity scale at baseline was close-to- significant for predicting nonremitters after 12 weeks treatment with escitalopram.
To conclude, we demonstrated that the SSP Estonian version has acceptable psychometric properties. We showed evidence of maladaptive trait patterns in patients with PD, characterised by high Neuroticism, Aggressiveness and higher manifestation of Somatic Trait Anxiety. More pronounced personality trait deviations were observed in PD with affective comorbidity. Although maladaptive personality disposition in patients with PD showed a certain trend towards normalisation after 12-week treatment with the antidepressant escitalopram, there was no strong correlation with the clinical outcome.