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Psychosomatic Medicine:
Original Articles

DS14: Standard Assessment of Negative Affectivity, Social Inhibition, and Type D Personality

Denollet, Johan PhD

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Abstract

Objective: Type D personality—a joint tendency toward negative affectivity (NA) and social inhibition (SI)—is related to poor cardiac prognosis, but there is no standard for assessing Type D. This study reports on the Type D Scale-14 (DS14) as a standard measure of NA, SI, and Type D.

Methods: The study included 3813 participants (2508 from the general population, 573 cardiac patients, 732 hypertension patients). They all filled out the DS14, containing 7-item NA and SI subscales; 275 subjects also completed the NEO-FFI, and 121 patients filled out the DS14 twice.

Results: Factor analysis of the DS14 yielded 2 dominant traits; all of the NA and SI items loaded between 0.62 to 0.82 on their corresponding factor (N = 3678). The NA scale covered dysphoria, worry, and irritability; the SI scale covered discomfort in social interactions, reticence, and lack of social poise. The NA and SI scales were internally consistent (α = 0.88/0.86; N = 3678), stable over a 3-month period (test–retest r = 0.72/0.82) and not dependent on mood and health status (N = 121). NA correlated positively with neuroticism (r = 0.68); SI correlated negatively with extraversion (r = −0.59/−0.65). Scale-level factor analysis confirmed the construct validity of the DS14 against the NEO-FFI. Using a cutoff of 10 (NA ≥10 and SI ≥10), 1027 subjects (28%) were classified as Type D, 21% in the general population versus 28% in coronary heart disease and 53% in hypertension (p ≤ .001). Age, sex, and Type D (odds ratio, 3.98; 95% confidence interval, 3.2–4.6; p <.0001) were independently associated with cardiovascular morbidity.

Conclusion: The DS14 is a brief, psychometrically sound measure of negative affectivity and social inhibition that could readily be incorporated in epidemiologic and clinical research.

CHD = coronary heart disease

DS14 = Type D Scale-14

GMS = Global Mood Scale

HCS = Health Complaints Scale

LVEF = left ventricular ejection fraction

NA = negative affectivity

NEO-FFI = NEO Five Factor Inventory

SI = social inhibition.

Copyright © 2005 by American Psychosomatic Society

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