Personality traits and course of symptoms of depression and apathy after stroke: Results of the CASPER study

Elles Douven, Julie Staals, Syenna H. J. Schievink, Robert J. van Oostenbrugge, Frans R. J. Verhey, Sascha Wetzels-Meertens, Sebastian Kohler, Pauline Aalten*

*Corresponding author for this work

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Abstract

Objective: Post-stroke depression (PSD) and post-stroke apathy (PSA) are both associated with adverse outcome after stroke. This study aimed to examine whether personality traits predict the course of PSD and PSA. Methods: In this prospective cohort study, 240 stroke patients completed the NEO Five Factor Inventory, Montgomery-Asberg Depression Rating Scale, and Apathy Evaluation Scale at 3 months post-stroke. Neuropsychiatric assessment was repeated at 6- and 12-month follow-up after initial testing. Results: Linear mixed models showed that high neuroticism scores were associated with higher depression levels at baseline, and this association remained stable at follow-up. High extraversion scores and high conscientiousness scores were associated with lower apathy levels at baseline. For neuroticism, a significant interaction with time was found, with higher neuroticism scores at baseline being associated with an increase in apathy scores from 6-month to 12-month follow-up. Prospective analyses showed that high extraversion predicted low apathy levels at 6-month and 12-month follow-up independent of its relations with baseline depression and apathy. High neuroticism predicted high apathy levels at 12-month follow-up, whereas high agreeableness and high openness predicted high apathy levels and low apathy levels, respectively, at 6-month follow-up. None of the personality traits predicted depression scores at follow-up. Conclusion: Personality traits are associated with the development and sustainability of PSD and PSA. The traits associated with PSD and PSA were different, providing support for the independence of these constructs. The findings highlight the importance to take personality traits into account as a potential vulnerability factor for PSD and PSA.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)69-75
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Psychosomatic Research
Volume111
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2018

Keywords

  • Stroke
  • Depression
  • Apathy
  • Personality
  • POSTSTROKE DEPRESSION
  • PSYCHOLOGICAL SYMPTOMS
  • PREMORBID PERSONALITY
  • FUNCTIONAL RECOVERY
  • EMOTION REGULATION
  • SYDNEY STROKE
  • NEUROTICISM
  • DISORDERS
  • FREQUENCY
  • METAANALYSIS

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