Scientific article

Personality traits influence clinical outcome in day hospital-treated elderly depressed patients

Published inThe American journal of geriatric psychiatry, vol. 17, no. 4, p. 335-343
Publication date2009

OBJECTIVES: Although personality traits are considered significant predictors of both physical and mental health, their specific impact on treatment outcome in elderly patients with depression remains largely unexplored. Impact of personality traits on the evolution of depressive symptoms, quality of life, and perception of clinical progress was assessed in a psychotherapeutic community. DESIGN: A prospective longitudinal study was conducted in 62 elderly outpatients. SETTING: Day hospital treatment as usual combined group and individual therapies, pharmacological treatment, as well as family and network meetings. PARTICIPANTS: Patients presented with major depression or a depressive episode of bipolar disease. MEASUREMENTS: The Geriatric Depression Scale, the Short Form Survey, and the Therapeutic Community Assessment scale were administrated at admission, 3, 6, 12 months, and at discharge. Personality was evaluated with the NEO Five-Factor Personality Inventory. RESULTS: Outcome revealed reduced depression and improved mental quality of life and clinical progress. Higher Geriatric Depression Scale scores were found in individuals with higher levels of Neuroticism (and its Vulnerability facet). Better self-perception of clinical progress was observed in individuals with lower levels of the Depressiveness and Modesty facets and higher openness to action. Improvement in quality of life was predicted by high Positive emotions facet. All these associations remained significant after controlling for age, gender, and treatment length. CONCLUSION: Personality traits may predict clinical outcome in psychotherapeutic hospital day care for elderly patients with depression.

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Antipsychotic Agents/therapeutic use
  • Bipolar Disorder/*psychology/*therapy
  • Day Care/*psychology
  • Depressive Disorder, Major/*psychology/*therapy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • *Personality
  • Personality Assessment
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Prospective Studies
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Psychotherapy
  • Quality of Life
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Treatment Outcome
Citation (ISO format)
CANUTO, Alessandra et al. Personality traits influence clinical outcome in day hospital-treated elderly depressed patients. In: The American journal of geriatric psychiatry, 2009, vol. 17, n° 4, p. 335–343. doi: 10.1097/JGP.0b013e3181987536
Main files (1)
ISSN of the journal1064-7481

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