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Pain Research and Treatment
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 730741, 7 pages
Research Article

Neuroticism in Young Women with Fibromyalgia Links to Key Clinical Features

1Faculty of Medicine, Monash University, Melbourne, VIC 3168, Australia
2Department of Rheumatology, Monash Medical Centre, Melbourne, VIC 3168, Australia

Received 20 October 2011; Accepted 6 December 2011

Academic Editor: Ke Ren

Copyright © 2012 Katrina Malin and Geoffrey Owen Littlejohn. 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. We examined personality traits in young women with FM, in order to seek associations with key psychological processes and clinical symptoms. Methods. Twenty-seven women with FM and 29 age-matched female healthy controls [HC] completed a series of questionnaires examining FM symptoms, personality and psychological variables. Results. Significant differences between characteristic FM symptoms (sleep, pain, fatigue, and confusion) as well as for the psychological variables of depression, anxiety, and stress were found between FM and HC ( ). Neuroticism was the only subscale of the Big Five Inventory that showed a significant difference between the FM group and HC group [ ]. Within the FM group, there was a significant association between the level of the neuroticism and each of pain, sleep, fatigue, and confusion, depression, anxiety, and stress ( –0.01). The association between the level of neuroticism and the level of stress was the strongest of all variables tested ( ). Conclusion. The personality trait of neuroticism significantly associates with the key FM characteristics of pain, sleep, fatigue and confusion as well as the common co-morbidities of depression, anxiety and stress. Personality appears to be an important modulator of FM clinical symptoms.