Article

Harm avoidance and self-directedness as essential features of panic disorder patients.

Anxiety Disorder Program, Hospital de Clínicas de Porto Alegre and Graduate Program in Medical Sciences, Psychiatry, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil.
Comprehensive psychiatry (Impact Factor: 2.26). 09/2008; 49(5):476-81. DOI: 10.1016/j.comppsych.2008.03.003
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The purpose of the study is to compare the personality traits assessed with the Temperament and Character Inventory (TCI) between patients with panic disorder (PD) and a control group in a Brazilian sample.
One hundred thirty-five patients with PD paired according to sex and age with 135 controls without any psychiatric disorders were assessed with the Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview (MINI), a structured interview. Temperament and character were assessed with the TCI.
Consistently, patients with PD presented higher scores on the harm avoidance (HA) temperament scale (23.20 +/- 5.41 vs 15.21 +/- 4.92; P < .001) and lower scores on the self-directedness (SD) (27.81 +/- 7.25 vs 35.16 +/- 5.47; P < .001) if compared to the control group and has been associated independently from other TCI scales and confounders with PD. The multivariate logistic model containing HA and SD explains 38.6% to 51.4% of the differences between PD and controls.
Harm avoidance could be a good candidate to be heritable because it appears to be a consistent finding across current literature in anxious and depressed patients independent of their cultural context. Also, SD seems to be a key character characteristic of PD patients. The dimensional assessment is an interesting alternative for understanding the relationship between the psychobiologic bases of temperament and character and is highly related to the development of psychiatric syndromes.

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    12/2012; 23(4). DOI:10.7231/jon.2012.23.4.107

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