Personality functioning in anxiety disorders

Stephan Doering, Victor Blüml, Karoline Parth, Karin Feichtinger, Maria Gruber, Martin Aigner, Hemma Rössler-Schülein, Marion Freidl, Antonia Wininger

Research output: Journal article (peer-reviewed)Journal article

19 Citations (Scopus)


BACKGROUND: The Alternative DSM-5 Model for Personality Disorders as well as the upcoming IDC-11 have established a new focus on diagnosing personality disorders (PD): personality functioning. An impairment of self and interpersonal functioning in these models represents a general diagnostic criterion for a personality disorder. Little is known so far about the impairment of personality functioning in patients with other mental disorders than PD. This study aims to assess personality functioning in patients with anxiety disorders.

METHODS: Ninety-seven patients with the diagnosis of generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, or phobia, and 16 healthy control persons were diagnosed using the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV (SCID-I and -II) and were assessed by means of the Structured Interview for Personality Organization (STIPO) to determine the level of personality functioning.

RESULTS: While all three patient groups showed significant impairment in personality functioning compared to the control group, no significant differences were observed between the different patient groups. In all three groups of anxiety disorders patients with comorbid PD showed significantly worse personality functioning than patients without. Patients without comorbid PD also yielded a significant impairment in their personality functioning when compared to the control group.

CONCLUSIONS: Anxiety disorders are associated with a significant impairment in personality functioning, which is significantly increased by comorbid PD. There are no differences in terms of personality functioning between patients with different anxiety disorders.

Original languageEnglish
Article number294
Pages (from-to)294
JournalBMC Psychiatry
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 14 Sept 2018


  • Adult
  • Anxiety Disorders/psychology
  • Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Panic Disorder/psychology
  • Personality
  • Personality Disorders/diagnosis
  • Personality Tests
  • Phobic Disorders/psychology
  • Personality disorder
  • Phobia
  • Generalized anxiety disorder
  • Panic disorder
  • Personality functioning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental Health


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