The British Journal of Psychiatry
Does personality predict long-term outcome in depression?
C F Duggan, A S Lee, R M Murray

Abstract

In 1965/66, a consecutive series of 89 in-patients with depression were interviewed, given two personality tests (the EPI and LOI), and were accorded a score on a neurotic-psychotic continuum (DI). Eighteen years later, the series was followed up and the predictive power of the original data was determined. High neuroticism scores on the EPI on recovery and particularly when ill but referring to the pre-morbid state were associated with poor overall outcome and chronicity. High obsessional interference scores on the LOI on recovery were also associated with poor long-term outcome, impaired social adjustment, more time spent in hospital, and with the subsequent development of schizophrenic or schizoaffective episodes. High psychotic scores on the DI were also associated with poor long-term outcome, a greater length of time spent in hospital, and with bipolar affective disorder, and this effect was independent of the personality measures.