Physical health-related quality of life among older adults with personality disorders

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Objectives: Personality Disorders (PDs) are associated with a multitude of negative consequences. The negative PD effects on health can be even more burdensome for older adults given the physical and social functioning changes that occur with age; however, the majority of research examining the influence of PDs focuses on younger adults. The present study seeks to investigate the relationship between PDs and physical health-related quality of life (PHRQoL) in adults over the age of 50. Methods: Data for 16,884 adults ages 50 and older from the 2001–2002 National Epidemiological Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions (NESARC) were analyzed. Multiple linear regression models were analyzed to investigate the relationships of seven PDs and participants’ PHRQoL. Results: All PDs except histrionic and avoidant PD had statistically significant negative associations with PHRQoL scores, indicating that respondents diagnosed with PDs were expected to have lower PHRQoL than those without PDs, after controlling for sociodemographic characteristics. When psychosocial covariates were added to the model, only dependent, obsessive-compulsive and paranoid PDs were significantly related to PHRQoL score. Conclusions: For adults ages 50 and older, a diagnosis of PD was weakly associated with lower PHRQoL scores for three PDs, however this is unlikely to be a causal association. The strength of the relationship between PDs and PHRQoL varies by type of PD. Given the higher rates of functional and social changes that occur with age, future research should focus on potential causes of worse physical health among older adults with PDs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1031-1040
Number of pages10
JournalAging and Mental Health
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 3 2019


  • older adults
  • Personality disorders
  • prevalence
  • quality of life


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