Personality, chronic medical morbidity, and health-related quality of life among older persons

Health Psychol. 1997 Nov;16(6):539-46. doi: 10.1037//0278-6133.16.6.539.


This article examines the main and moderating effects of 3 personality characteristics on the association between chronic medical morbidity and health-related quality of life (HRQL) in a large (N = 5,279) community-based older sample. Reasonably high unique contributions of neuroticism, mastery, and self-efficacy to HRQL were found. The additional amounts of variance explained beyond and above medical morbidity and age vary from about 4% (bodily pain) to above 30% (mental health). Little empirical evidence was found for the moderating effects of personality. In conclusion, personality characteristics such as neuroticism, mastery, and self-efficacy influence the reported levels of HRQL. The extent to which this is due to an influence of personality on true versus perceived levels of HRQL is unclear.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Age Distribution
  • Aged*
  • Chronic Disease / epidemiology*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Health Status*
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Netherlands / epidemiology
  • Neurotic Disorders / psychology
  • Personality*
  • Prevalence
  • Prospective Studies
  • Quality of Life*