OBJECTIVES: Early-course psychotic disorders have been extensively studied in terms of phenomenology, but little is known about the influence of personality traits on clinical features of first-episode psychosis. The aim of this study was to explore how the "big five" personality domains (neuroticism, extraversion, openness, agreeableness, and conscientiousness) are associated with treatment delay (duration of untreated psychosis, DUP), functioning, and positive and negative symptom severity. METHODS: Data for these analyses were obtained from 104 participants enrolled from psychiatric inpatient units in Atlanta, Georgia, between August 2008 and March 2011. The NEO Five-Factor Inventory (NEO-FFI) was used to assess personality domains, and all other variables were measured in a standardized and rigorous manner using psychometrically sound instruments. Correlational analyses and multiple linear regressions were carried out to examine the strength of associations between variables of interest. RESULTS: Findings indicated that except for openness, all of the other personality variables contributed to some extent to the variance in DUP. Conscientiousness was positively correlated with functioning. Agreeableness was independently negatively associated with positive symptom severity and extraversion was independently negatively correlated with negative symptom severity. CONCLUSIONS: We report the first evidence suggesting that DUP is in part driven by personality domains. Functioning and symptom severity are also associated with those domains. Personality should be taken into account in order to better understand the phenomenology of early-course psychotic disorders as well as treatment-seeking behaviors.
Faculty; Northwell Researcher
School of Medicine; Northwell Health