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Temperament and character dimensions in patients with atopic dermatitis


Chul Lee, M.D., Ph.D., Department of Psychiatry, Kangnam St. Mary's Hospital, The Catholic University of Korea, College of Medicine, 505 Banpo-Dong, Seocho-Gu, Seoul 137-701, Korea. Email:


The aim of this study was to assess the personality traits of young male patients with atopic dermatitis (AD), and to examine the correlations between temperament and character dimensions with clinical and other psychological factors. Fifty young adult male AD patients and 83 healthy controls were examined using the temperament and character inventory, the Beck depression inventory and the state-trait anxiety inventory. The AD patients scored higher on harm avoidance and lower on reward dependence, self-directedness and cooperativeness than the healthy controls. The illness duration and anxiety correlated negatively with the self-directedness score, and depression correlated negatively with reward dependence and the persistence scores in AD patients. These results suggest that AD patients have distinctive temperament and character dimensions compared to healthy controls. Moreover, illness duration and anxiety might be associated with some personality problems, and some temperament dimensions (e.g. reward dependence, persistence) may be linked to depressive symptoms in AD patients.