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Personality styles in patients with fibromyalgia, major depression and healthy controls

Hans M Nordahl1* and Tore C Stiles12

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Psychology, NTNU, 7491 Trondheim, Norway

2 Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Medicine, NTNU, Box 3008, 7442 Trondheim, Norway

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Annals of General Psychiatry 2007, 6:9  doi:10.1186/1744-859X-6-9

Published: 9 March 2007



The fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) is suggested to be a manifestation of depression or affective spectrum disorder. We measured the cognitive style of patients with FMS to assess personality styles in 44 patients with fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) by comparing them with 43 patients with major depressive disorder (MDD) and 41 healthy controls (HC).


Personality styles were measured by the Sociotropy and Autonomy Scale (SAS) and the Dysfunctional Attitude Scale (DAS). The Structured Clinical interview for DSM Axis I was applied to Axis I disorders, while the Beck Depression Inventory was used to measure depression severity.


Patients with FMS in general have a sociotropic personality style similar to patients with MDD, and different from HC, but FMS patients without a lifetime history of MDD had a cognitive personality style different from patients with MDD and similar to HC.


These findings suggest that a depressotypic personality style is related to depressive disorder, but not to FMS.