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Personality Type of the Glaucoma Patient

Lim, Michele C. MD*; Shiba, Diana R. BA*; Clark, Ingrid J. COA, CCRP*; Kim, Daniel Y. BS*; Styles, Douglas E. PsyD; Brandt, James D. MD*; Watnik, Mitchell R. PhD; Barthelow, Isaac J. BS*

doi: 10.1097/IJG.0b013e31806ab2eb
Original Studies

Purpose To characterize the personality profile of glaucoma subjects.

Patients and Methods One hundred eight subjects including 56 open-angle glaucoma (OAG) and 52 controls were given the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-2 (MMPI-2) test and all performed automated perimetry. Clinical and demographic information which could relate to personality type was collected.

Results OAG subjects had significantly higher Hypochondriasis (Hs; P=0.0082), Hysteria (Hy; P=0.0056), and Health Concerns (HEA; P=0.0025) mean scores than the control group. OAG subjects also had a significantly greater frequency of clinically abnormal score for hysteria (P=0.0262), and health concerns (P=0.0018). Multivariate analysis of variance revealed that Hypochondriasis, Hysteria, and Health Concerns scores were related to number of systemic medications used and to diagnostic group. Other potential explanatory variables such as sex, ethnicity, number of medical problems, length of glaucoma diagnosis, occurrence of glaucoma surgery, intraocular pressure, and visual status (logMAR, visual field indices) were not related to these personality scores.

Conclusions Patients with a diagnosis of OAG had more abnormal MMPI-2 scores in areas that focus upon concerns of somatic complaints and poor health. The use of systemic medications, which may be a constant reminder of illness, is a factor that may contribute to higher MMPI-2 scores.

*Department of Ophthalmology & Vision Science, University of California, Davis, Sacramento, CA

Harold Able School of Psychology, Capella University, Minneapolis, MN

Department of Statistics, California State University East Bay, Hayward, CA

Presented in part at the annual meeting of the American Glaucoma Society, Snowbird, UT, March 3, 2005.

Supported in part by: Research to Prevent Blindness, New York, NY and University of California, Davis Faculty Research Grant, Sacramento, CA.

The authors have no proprietary or financial interests in any product mentioned in this article.

Reprints: Michele C. Lim, MD, Department of Ophthalmology & Vision Science, University of California, Davis, 4860 Y Street, Suite 2400, Sacramento, CA 95817 (e-mail:

Received for publication July 27, 2006; accepted April 7, 2007

© 2007 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.