Introduction to the special issue on personality assessment in medical settings

Piero Porcelli, Robert E. McGrath

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This special issue of the Journal of Personality Assessment brings together 3 review articles and 5 research studies on personality assessment in medical settings that should help clinicians become more familiar with the current status of this field. In 1 review article, Sirri, Fabbri, Fava, and Sonino (2007/this issue) summarize evidence of a new approach to the assessment of psychological syndromes in somatizing patients based on the Diagnostic Criteria for Psychosomatic Research (Fava et al., 1995). The other reviews focus on 2 personality constructs widely used in investigations with medical patients. Kupper and Denollet (2007/this issue) review the Type D personality, whereas Lumley, Neely, and Burger (2007/this issue) provide an overview of alexithymia. Of the research articles, 2 also focus on alexithymia, specifically on the factor structure of the 20-item Toronto Alexithymia Scale (Bagby, Parker, & Taylor, 1994), which is the best-validated and most commonly used measure of alexithymia (Bagby, Taylor, Quilty, & Parker, 2007/this issue; Gignac, Palmer, & Stough, 2007/this issue). The other 3 research studies examine the relationship between specific personality dimensions (behavioral problems relevant to medicine, resiliency, and interpersonal sensitivity) and medical outcomes (adherence to treatment, coping with injury, and postsurgical sexual functioning) from medical samples of patients with HIV, spinal cord injury, and prostate carcinoma (Berry, Elliott, & Rivera, 2007/this issue; Cruess, Meagher, Antoni, & Millon, 2007/this issue; Siegel et al, 2007/this issue). Each article touches on the role person variables can play in the expression of medical problems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)211-215
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Personality Assessment
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Social Psychology


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