Great moments in personality research: Study of the personality of patients with spontaneous pneumothorax

If it wasn’t for EMBASE screening, I would never have come across this gem:

 

Study of the personality of patients with spontaneous pneumothorax

Martín Martín M1, Cuesta Serrahima L, Rami Porta R, Soler Insa P, Mateu Navarro M.

INTRODUCTION:
Medical psychology has contributed to a greater understanding of many diseases that are predominantly medical and has also helped to improve prognosis. This study explores a surgical entity, namely spontaneous pneumothorax.
OBJECTIVES:
The aim was to compare the personality, depression, anxiety and type-A behavior pattern in a group of 34 patients with spontaneous pneumothorax to a group of 33 control patients admitted for a variety of minor surgical procedures.
MATERIAL AND METHODS:
The following objective assessment instruments were used: Trait Anxiety Inventory, Beck Depression Inventory, Jenkins Activity Inventory, Eysenck Personality Questionnaire. The questionnaires were administered before the intervention of the surgeon and after an informative interview.
RESULTS:
The rate of type-A behavior was statistically different in the two groups. No differences were seen for personality, depression or anxiety.
CONCLUSION:
We conclude that type-A behavior patterns should be reduced in patients who suffer spontaneous pneumothorax in order to improve outcome.

I love that sweeping conclusion “type-A behaviour patterns should be reduced” – just like that! – but also admire the researchers choice of an apparently unpromising area to research. I will try, if I have time, to read the original paper.

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