Personality disorders and self-perceived quality of life in an elderly psychiatric outpatient population
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The aim of this work was to assess the impact of personality disorder and traits on the subjective assessment of quality of life by a sample of elderly psychiatric outpatients (60 years or more). Sixty of the total number of subjects interviewed were included in the test sample since they met the Vragenlijst Klinishe Persoonlijkheid (VKP) criteria for personality disorder. A control sample was also formed, composed of 50 subjects without personality disorders or traits. Quality of life was assessed using the LEIPAD questionnaire. Personality disorder diagnoses were prevalently distributed in cluster C (25%) and in cluster A (20%). A total of 48.3% of patients (n = 29) had more than 1 personality disorder. Sixty percent of the sample (n = 36) presented with comorbid Axis I psychiatric disorders, in most cases depressive pathologies. Comparing the case and control groups, worse LEIPAD scores were achieved by subjects with personality disorders. Between clusters of personality disorders, the worst scores were observed in subjects with more than 1 personality disorder diagnosis. Elderly people who presented with a personality disorder were more vulnerable to late-life distress, especially those with more than one diagnosis. In keeping with linear regression analysis, widowhood, divorcehood and living with others appear to be variables able to negatively influence quality of life in this population. While the VKP needs to be adapted to the application in the elderly, it does seem to be a particularly useful screening instrument.