Do personality traits matter when choosing a group therapy for early psychosis?

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This study aimed at determining the predictive value of personality traits, based on the Five Factor Model (FFM) of personality, on therapeutic outcomes according to specific group treatments for first episode psychosis: cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) or skills training for symptom management (SM).


Individuals experiencing early psychosis were recruited to participate in a randomized- controlled trial (RCT). Participants were randomized to one of two group treatments or to a wait-list control group. Measures included a personality inventory (NEO-FFI) and outcome measures of symptomatology (BPRS-E) and coping strategies (CCS). Pearson correlation analyses were conducted on 78 individuals and linear regression analyses on 66.


Links were found between personality traits, symptoms, and coping outcome measures, according to specific group treatments. Personality traits were particularly linked to therapeutic changes in active coping strategies, with Conscientiousness accounting for 14% of the variance in the CBT group, Extraversion accounting for 41% of the variance in the SM group, and Openness to experience accounting for 22% of the variance in the control group.


Individual differences in personality traits for people experiencing early psychosis should be considered when offering psychosocial treatments, since it appears that those with specific traits might benefit more than others in specific group interventions, particularly for interventions that do not solely aim at improving symptoms.

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