Personality disorders and response to outpatient treatment of chronic pain Academic Article uri icon


  • As part of a comprehensive interdisciplinary evaluation conducted prior to participation in an outpatient chronic pain treatment program, the psychological status of 101 persons was assessed. The majority of participants was found to have a form of personality disorder, determined by conservative cutoff scores applied to their Millon Clinical Multiaxial Inventory (MCMI) profiles. DSM-III-R Cluster C disorders (i.e., Avoidant, Dependent, Obsessive-Compulsive, and Passive-Aggressive) were overrepresented in this sample. Subsequent analyses revealed that personality disorders were related to higher levels of self-reported distress and pain at both the beginning and the end of outpatient treatment. Differential responses to treatment were observed on self-report measures; however, few relations were found between personality disorder and physical therapist ratings of impairment and improvement. Implications for the assessment of personality disorders in outpatient pain treatment programs are discussed and appropriate intervention strategies are considered.

author list (cited authors)

  • Elliott, T. R., Jackson, W. T., Layfield, M., & Kendall, D.

citation count

  • 14

publication date

  • September 1996