Type D personality among noncardiovascular patient populations: a systematic review

Gen Hosp Psychiatry. 2010 Jan-Feb;32(1):66-72. doi: 10.1016/j.genhosppsych.2009.09.010. Epub 2009 Oct 23.


Objective: This article reviews all available literature concerning the implications of Type D personality (the conjoint effects of negative affectivity and social inhibition) among patients with noncardiovascular conditions.

Methods: Published papers were included if they studied Type D personality among noncardiovascular patient populations. Twelve articles met our inclusion criteria and were subjected to a methodological quality checklist (e.g., sample size, response rate, Type D measurement).

Results: The methodological quality of the selected studies was quite good. The noncardiovascular patient populations included chronic pain, asthma, tinnitus, sleep apnea, primary care patients, vulvovaginal candidiasis, mild traumatic brain injury, vertigo, melanoma and diabetic foot syndrome. Type D personality was associated with an increased number or severity of reported health complaints, heightened the perception of negative emotions (e.g., depression and anxiety), had an adverse effect on health-related behaviors, was associated with poor adherence to treatment and significantly reduced effort to perform during diagnostic testing.

Conclusion: Type D is a vulnerability factor that not only affects people with cardiovascular conditions but also those with other medical conditions. Type D was associated with poor physical and mental health status and poor self-management of the disease. Consequently, including Type D in future studies seems warranted.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Cardiovascular Diseases / psychology*
  • Female
  • Health Behavior
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Negativism
  • Personality / physiology*
  • Social Isolation