To explore the associations between the presence of personality problems and somatic morbidity and health care utilisation.
The Iowa Personality Disorder Screen was administered in order to identify persons with personality problems in a Norwegian population survey (the Oslo Health Study - HUBRO). Cases consisted of 369 individuals, 30, 40 and 45 years of age with personality problems matched on age and gender with five controls each.
Data on somatic morbidity and health care utilisation were collected by questionnaires.
The cases more frequently reported persistent muscular pain, asthma, fibromyalgia and alcohol problems than the controls.
They also more often used nonprescribed analgesics and antidepressants.
The cases more frequently had consulted a general practitioner (GP) in the last 12 months, less frequently got referral to somatic specialist care and were less satisfied with their last visit to a GP.
In this population based study, personality problems in young adults based on DSM-IV personality disorder criteria were associated with increased occurrence of somatic morbidity and primary health care utilisation.
The relevance for GP to take personality problems into account during consultations is underlined and a method for doing so is suggested.
European psychiatry : the journal of the Association of European Psychiatrists
Department of Psychiatry, Innlandet Hospital Trust, Hamar DPS, Skolegt 32, 2318 Hamar, Norway. ingrid.olsson [at] sykehuset-innlander.no
Eur Psychiatry. 2009 Oct;24(7):442-9
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