Personality is associated with health status and impact of cancer among melanoma survivors
Objective: We aimed to investigate the prevalence of Type D personality (the conjoint effects of negative affectivity and social inhibition) among melanoma survivors and to obtain insight into its effects on health status, impact of cancer and health care utilisation. Methods: We selected all patients diagnosed with melanoma between 1998 and 2007 from three large regional hospitals in the Netherlands. In total, 699 survivors, alive in January 2008, received a questionnaire including Type D personality scale (DS14), impact of cancer questionnaire (IOC) and SF-36 and 80% responded (n = 562). Results: Twenty-two percent of survivors (n = 125) were classified as Type D. They reported a clinically and statistically significant worse general health (57.8 versus 75.6), social functioning (73.1 versus 88.7), mental health (61.7 versus 80.6), more emotional role limitations (67.8 versus 89.4) and less vitality (54.5 versus 72.8) than non-Type D patients. Additionally, they reported a statistically and clinically relevant higher impact of cancer on body changes, negative self-evaluation, negative outlook on life, life interferences and health worry. Furthermore, they were more worried about the influence of the sun on their skin and acted accordingly. No differences were found in health care utilisation. Conclusions: Type D personality has a distinct negative impact on health status in melanoma survivors and is an important factor to screen for in clinical practice. Giving special attention to these patients is important while they are more likely to experience a strong impact of cancer which cannot be explained by socio-demographical or clinical characteristics.
- Health status
- Health-related quality of life
- Type D personality
- Cancer survivors
- Impact of cancer