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Pain Research and Management
Volume 2016, Article ID 5187631, 7 pages
Research Article

Identification and Characterization of Unique Subgroups of Chronic Pain Individuals with Dispositional Personality Traits

1Western University, London, ON, Canada N6A 3K7
2St. Joseph’s Health Care London, London, ON, Canada N6A 4V2
3Lawson Health Research Institute, London, ON, Canada N6C 0A7

Received 18 August 2015; Accepted 5 December 2015

Copyright © 2016 S. Mehta et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Objective. The current study attempted to identify and characterize distinct CP subgroups based on their level of dispositional personality traits. The secondary objective was to compare the difference among the subgroups in mood, coping, and disability. Methods. Individuals with chronic pain were assessed for demographic, psychosocial, and personality measures. A two-step cluster analysis was conducted in order to identify distinct subgroups of patients based on their level of personality traits. Differences in clinical outcomes were compared using the multivariate analysis of variance based on cluster membership. Results. In 229 participants, three clusters were formed. No significant difference was seen among the clusters on patient demographic factors including age, sex, relationship status, duration of pain, and pain intensity. Those with high levels of dispositional personality traits had greater levels of mood impairment compared to the other two groups (). Significant difference in disability was seen between the subgroups. Conclusions. The study identified a high risk group of CP individuals whose level of personality traits significantly correlated with impaired mood and coping. Use of pharmacological treatment alone may not be successful in improving clinical outcomes among these individuals. Instead, a more comprehensive treatment involving psychological treatments may be important in managing the personality traits that interfere with recovery.