Personality in remitted major depressive disorder with single and recurrent episodes assessed with the Temperament and Character Inventory

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Abstract

Aim:

Previous studies consistently reported increased harm avoidance (HA) assessed with the Temperament and Character Inventory (TCI) in patients with major depressive disorder (MDD). However, such findings may have been related with depression severity and number of depressive episodes. The aims of the present study were twofold: to examine TCI personality profile in remitted MDD (DSM-IV) patients and to compare TCI personality between MDD patients with single episode (SGL-MDD) and those with recurrent episodes (REC-MDD) in order to elucidate personality profile associated with recurrence.

Methods:

TCI was administered to 86 outpatients with remitted SGL-MDD (12 male and 17 female patients; mean age 43.2 ± 12.1 years) and REC-MDD (26 male and 31 female patients; 40.3 ± 11.6 years), and 529 healthy controls (225 men and 304 women; 43.4 ± 15.5 years), matched for age, sex and education years. Logistic regression analyses were performed in which single/recurrent episodes of depression were the dependent variable and age, sex, age of onset, family history of psychiatric disease and TCI scores were entered as possible predictors.

Results:

The remitted MDD patients had significantly higher scores on HA (P < 0.001) and lower scores on self-directedness (P < 0.001), compared with the controls. HA (P = 0.03), its subscore, fatigability (P = 0.03), and family history of psychiatric disease were found to be positive predictors for recurrence.

Conclusion:

There are differences in personality profile between remitted MDD patients and controls, and between remitted REC-MDD and SGL-MDD patients, suggesting that they are trait markers. HA and fatigability might be useful to assess risk for recurrence of depression.

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