Abstract

Objective: The role of personality in multiple sclerosis (MS) has received great attention recently. In particular, personality factors have been shown to be associated with several outcomes in MS such as adherence, coping, cognitive complaints, and employment. Certain personality factors (i.e., neuroticism) are also known to be associated with greater physical and mental health complaints among the medically-ill. Provided this, routine assessment of personality is encouraged. Previously, the NEO Personality Inventory was found to be valid in MS. However, the NEO consists of 60 items and is not useful as a brief screening tool in clinical settings. The present investigation examined the utility of a shorter measure of personality, the Ten Item Personality Inventory (TIPI). Method: Sixty-eight individuals with MS were administered the NEO, TIPI, and measures of depression, anxiety, fatigue, pain, coping, self-efficacy, and health behaviors (e.g., adherence). The factor structure of the TIPI and its correlates with the NEO were first established. Correlations among the TIPI, NEO, and outcomes measures were then conducted. Results: The TIPI items correlated with their respective factor of the NEO (r's = .25 −.66). Confined to a five factor model, three of the five factors loaded perfectly. The correlation between the TIPI and NEO factors were all consistent and high as well (r's = .53-.77). Finally, the TIPI and NEO scales demonstrated similar correlations to the outcomes measures. Conclusion(s): Though preliminary, the TIPI appears to be a valid measure for use in MS and likely to provide valuable information and is a readily available and free measure.