Type D personality and illness perceptions in myocardial infarction patients

Lynn Williams, Rory O'Connor, Neil R. Grubb, Ronan E O'Carroll

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41 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives To determine the relationship between Type D personality (the tendency to experience negative emotions and to be socially inhibited) and illness beliefs in postmyocardial infarction (MI) patients. Methods One hundred and ninety-two MI patients participated. Patients were assessed on demographic variables and completed the Type D Scale (DS14) and Brief Illness Perceptions Questionnaire one week post-MI. Results Multivariate analysis of variance revealed that Type D patients were significantly different from non-Type D patients on every illness perception dimension. Type D patients believe that their illness has significantly more serious consequences (P<.001), will last significantly longer (P<.001), will be significantly less controllable by them (P<.05) or through treatment (P<.001) compared to non-Type D patients, and experience significantly more symptoms that they attribute to their illness (P<.001). In addition, they are significantly more concerned about their illness (P<.05), experience significantly more emotions as a result (P<.001), and find their illness to be significantly less comprehensible compared to non-Type D individuals (P<.001). Conclusion Type D individuals possess a distinct profile of illness beliefs, which may help explain the adverse effect of Type D on health outcomes following MI. Future research should evaluate intervention strategies to tackle illness perceptions in these high-risk patients.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)141-144
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Psychosomatic Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • illness perceptions
  • myocardial infarction
  • type D personality


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