Personalities of patients with nonepileptic psychogenic status

Academic Article


  • The purposes of this study were to determine whether personalities of patients with nonepileptic psychogenic status (NEPS) are different from those of patients with typical intermittent psychogenic nonepileptic seizures (iPNES) using the Personality Assessment Inventory (PAI) and to compare their PAI profiles with the population norms. We hypothesized that patients with NEPS have more psychopathology compared with patients with iPNES and that, as a group, patients with PNES (iPNES + NEPS) would have more psychopathology compared with healthy individuals. We first compared the PAI profiles of patients with iPNES and NEPS and then the profiles of patients with NEPS, iPNES, and PNES with population norms in order to assess which PAI specific scales differed between groups in order to better characterize the psychopathology of PNES. All patients admitted for diagnostic evaluation to the epilepsy monitoring unit (EMU) were prospectively approached for participation. All patient/family interviews were conducted by an epileptologist, and the diagnosis of iPNES or NEPS was confirmed in all cases through video/EEG and/or family interview. The population norms for PAI were obtained from the manual. Of the 224 approached patients, 130 completed the PAI, and included 43 iPNES and 11 with NEPS. There were no significant differences between the two groups in regard to demographic or PAI profiles. Comparison with population norms revealed the presence of abnormal personality profiles on all scales in patients with iPNES, NEPS, or PNES. We conclude that while the occurrence of NEPS is relatively common in patients with PNES, the demographic characteristics and personality profiles of patients with NEPS are not different from those of patients with iPNES. We also confirmed the presence of significant psychopathology in the group with PNES when compared with population norms.
  • Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Pubmed Id

  • 26436843
  • Author List

  • Szaflarski JP; Aurora K; Rawal P; Szaflarski M; Allendorfer JB; DeWolfe J; Pati S; Thomas A; Ver Hoef LL; Dworetzky BA
  • Start Page

  • 143
  • End Page

  • 148
  • Volume

  • 52