Background: Personality type plays a key role in how individuals respond to a variety of stimuli; however, it is unclear if there is a significant influence on pain perception. While pain is associated with many conditions, chronic low back pain (cLBP) is one
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Background: Personality type plays a key role in how individuals respond to a variety of stimuli; however, it is unclear if there is a significant influence on pain perception. While pain is associated with many conditions, chronic low back pain (cLBP) is one of the most prevalent and debilitating problems in modern society. Treating this condition can be a challenge and clinicians must understand all factors that can influence pain perception. Purpose: The present study investigated the relationship between personality type and pain experience in patients experiencing cLBP. Methods: One hundred twenty-four participants completed the Eysenck Personality Inventory (EPI), which identifies two major components of the human personality, neuroticism, and extraversion. Participants also completed the Oswestry Disability Index (ODI), the Tampa Scale for Kinesiophobia (TSK), the Numeric Pain Rating Scale (NPRS), and the Pain Catastrophizing Scale (PCS). The association between pain and personality was determined with a Spearman Rank Correlation Coefficient. A hierarchical cluster analysis with Ward’s clustering method examined for subgroups of individuals based on these variables. Results: The neuroticism score (EPI-N) was found to have a statistically significant relationship with all pain outcome measures. This suggests that people exhibiting a neurotic personality type are likely to have more fear of movement (p
= 0.001), greater catastrophizing behavior (p
< 0.001), higher self-reported levels of disability (p
< 0.001), and higher overall reported levels of pain (p
= 0.046) than those with other, more stable personality types. Three clusters were derived with varying levels of pain-related factors and personality. Conclusions: Personality type appears to have an influence on many of the attributes associated with cLBP and may be a useful determinate in both prognosis and interventions.