Personality type as a predictor for depressive symptoms and reduction in quality of life among stroke survivals

Svetlana Afanasiev, Judith Aharon-Peretz, Michal Granot

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: Although poststroke depression (PSD) and reduction in quality of life (QOL) are prevalent among stroke patients, little is known about the contribution of personality traits to such impairments. This study examines whether particular personality traits predict PSD symptoms (PSDS) and reduction in QOL among stroke survivals using Cloninger's biopsychosocial personality model. We hypothesized that harm avoidance (HA), expressing the tendency to respond intensely to adverse stimuli, characterizes stroke survivors at risk for PSDS and reduction in QOL. Methods: Hospitalized stroke patients (N = 84, age 63.5 ± 9.7 years) prospectively completed Cloninger's Tridimensional Personality Questionnaire, defining HA dominancy by scoring the three personality dimensions: reward dependence, novelty seeking, and HA. The level of neurologic deficit was evaluated by the National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale. At the 3-month follow-up visit, depressive symptoms and QOL scores were assessed using the Beck Depression Inventory and the Stroke Specific Quality of Life questionnaire. Results: Regressionanalyses revealed thathigherHAscores independently predicted PSDS and reduction in QOL. After controlling for the relative contribution of stroke type and health-related variables, HA and neurologic deficit were significant risk factors for poststroke negative outcomes. Conclusion: Our findings emphasize the relevance of Cloninger's theory (manifested by individual HA behavior) as a distinctive means to identifying patients at risk for PSDS and lower QOL after stroke. The role of specific psychological and neurologic aspects involved in themechanism of PSDshould be further explored using biopsychosocial models.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)832-839
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2013


  • Depression
  • Harm avoidance
  • Personality
  • Prediction
  • Quality of life
  • Stroke

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


Dive into the research topics of 'Personality type as a predictor for depressive symptoms and reduction in quality of life among stroke survivals'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this