The Relationship Of Personality Styles And Self Disclosure Patterns To Treatment Outcome In Chronic Pain Patients (backpain, Rehabilitation, Behavioral Medicine, Vocational Restoration)

Date of Award




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


Clinical Psychology


The impact of Personality Style and Self Disclosure Patterns was studied on multidisciplinary treatment outcome for chronic pain patients. Seventy-one pain patients were administered the Millon Behavioral Health Inventory, the Beck Depression Inventory, and the Self Disclosure Situations Survey during pre-treatment evaluation period. After completing the four week treatment program patients filled out a second Beck Depression Inventory, Millon Behavioral Health Inventory and Self Disclosure Situations Survey. The program Psychologist and Physiatrist provided ratings of patient progress at discharge. Approximately eighteen months post-treatment patients completed a third Beck Depression Inventory and a Patient follow-up Questionnaire and their spouses responded to a significant Other Follow-up Questionnaire.Patients were grouped into three Personality Style Configurations based upon responses on the Millon Behavioral Health Inventory. Personality Style differences were found on the depression measure at each assessment period and on spouse reports of pain behavior during the follow-up period. The Anxious and Moody Group endorsed the highest depression levels throughout the study, and this group along with the Passive and Conforming Group were the most likely to encounter difficulties with pain behavior at follow-up. The Sociable and Self Confident Group reported the least depression and pain behavior at follow-up.Self Disclosure Flexibility was found to be the most important predictor of Psychological and Physical progress at treatment completion. Self report self disclosure scores translated into meaningful observer ratings by the Psychologist but failed to do so for ratings by spouses.In general no Personality Style differences were found in pain levels or ratings of program effectiveness at follow-up. Treatment appeared to decrease slightly pain levels at follow-up for patients with myofascial syndrome. Most patients viewed treatment as helping but not curing their program. Treatment appeared to assist fifty percent of the patients responding at follow-up to return to work. Decreased narcotic pain medication useage and days spent in bed were also reported at follow-up.Methodological problems with the current study and suggestions for future research were discussed.


Psychology, Clinical

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