Personality traits predict perceived health-related quality of life in persons with multiple sclerosis

Ignazio Roberto Zarbo, Eleonora Minacapelli, Monica Falautano, Silvia Demontis, Giovanni Carpentras, Maura Pugliatti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Personality traits can affect health-related quality of life (HRQoL) in different disorders. In multiple sclerosis (MS), personality traits can determine patients' willingness to take on more risky treatment options, predispose to neuropsychiatric symptoms and affect coping strategies. Objectives: We investigated the role of personality traits as possible predictors of HRQoL in a large cohort of persons with MS (PwMS). Methods: In total, 253 consecutively recruited PwMS were screened for intellectual deficits with Raven Colour Progressive Matrices (RCPM), state anxiety with STAI-X1 and major depression on a clinical basis. PwMS' self-perceived mental and physical health status was measured with the 36-Item Short Form Health Survey (SF-36), and the personality profile with the Eysenck Personality Questionnaire (EPQ-R). The correlation between HRQoL and personality traits was investigated by means of analysis of variance, adjusting for possible confounders. Results: Of the 253 MS patients, 195 (F:M=2.75), aged 41.7±10.2 years were included in the analysis. The variance of SF-36 mental and physical composite score was largely explained by extraversion and neuroticism. Conclusions: Our data confirm that PwMS' HRQoL is largely influenced by personality traits, which may therefore act as predictors of perceived quality of life and should be included in clinical and experimental settings focusing on HRQoL.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)551-558
Number of pages8
JournalMultiple Sclerosis Journal
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • extraversion
  • Eysenck
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • personality
  • quality of life

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neurology


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