Personality traits, coping styles, and mood in patients awaiting lumbar- disc surgery

Michael Hueppe*, Thomas Uhlig, Heike Vogelsang, Peter Schmucker

*Corresponding author for this work
10 Citations (Scopus)


The objective of this study was to characterize personality traits, coping styles, and mood state in patients with lumbar-disc disorders. In two studies (N = 112; N = 84) patients expecting lumbar-disc surgery were compared to patients awaiting another kind of surgery. Personality traits and coping styles were assessed with a personality inventory (FPI-R) and a stress-coping questionnaire (SVF). Mood was measured several times before surgery using a multidimensional self-report inventory [BSKE (EWL)]. The same inventory was used by anesthetists to rate the patient's mood. Heart rate and blood pressure also were measured. The groups did not differ with regard to personality traits, coping styles, self-reported mood state, or somatic variables. The physicians rated lumbar-disc patients as being in a better mood than control patients. Significant correlations between self-ratings and physician ratings were not observed. The results characterize lumbar-disc patients as a subgroup that is not different from other surgery patients and, therefore, does not need a specific form of psychological management prior to surgery. The importance of using patients expecting another type of surgery as a control group rather than healthy individuals is clearly demonstrated.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Clinical Psychology
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)119-130
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 01.2000


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