Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Emergency Medicine, Imam Hosein Hospital, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

2 Department of Emergency Medicine, Loghman Hakim Hospital, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

3 Department of Clinical Psychology, Karaj Branch Islamic Azad University, Alborz, Iran

4 Department of Emergency Medicine, Sina Hospital, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran


Objective: Personality disorder is a multi-factorial condition in which workplace stress plays a significant role. This study was undertaken due to scarcity of information regarding the role of workplace stress which can cause personality disorder among nurses. We aimed to evaluate the prevalence of personality disorders in nurses working in different hospital departments and assess factors affecting its onset.
Methods: In this cross-sectional study the personality disorders of nurses working in various hospital departments were evaluated based on Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-2 (MMPI-2) test. After the completion of questionnaires, data were entered to MMPI-2 test’s special software and the final result was interpreted based on the opinion of a clinical psychologist. Finally, multivariate logistic regression model was used to assess the independent effect of the mentioned factors on prevalence of personality disorders in nurses.
Results: We gathered data from 2 groups of participants (n = 206). These groups included nurses in emergency departments and nurses in other hospital units. The mean of age was 32.5 ± 6.9 years. Overall, 54.3% (n = 38) of non-emergency nurses and 45.7% (n = 32) of emergency nurses showed symptoms of personality disorders respectively. Multivariate logistic regression analysis showed that history of a serious accident or trauma increased the odds of detecting personality disorders up to 3.8 times (odds ratio [OR] = 3.84; 95% CI: 1.33-11.06; P = 0.01). In addition, an unpleasant incident in the past year increased it up to 2.2 times (OR = 2.23; 95% CI: 1.18 – 4.22; P = 0.01) in both groups.
Conclusion: The present study showed that there was no significant difference between emergency departments and other units of hospitals regarding the prevalence of personality disorders among nurses. Overall, somatization, hysteria, and pollyannaish were the most common personality disorders among the studied population


Main Subjects

  1. Kessler RC, Demler O, Frank RG, Olfson M, Pincus HA, Walters EE, et al. Prevalence and treatment of mental disorders, 1990 to 2003. N Engl J Med 2005; 352(24): 2515- 23. doi: 10.1056/NEJMsa043266.
  2. Escribà-Agüir V, Martín-Baena D, Pérez-Hoyos S. Psychosocial work environment and burnout among emergency medical and nursing staff. Int Arch Occup Environ Health 2006; 80(2): 127-33. doi: 10.1007/s00420- 006-0110-y.
  3. Adriaenssens J, De Gucht V, Maes S. Determinants and prevalence of burnout in emergency nurses: a systematic review of 25 years of research. Int J Nurs Stud 2015; 52(2): 649-61. doi: 10.1016/j.ijnurstu.2014.11.004.
  4. Forouzanfar MM, Alitaleshi H, Hashemi B, Baratloo A, Motamedi M, Majidi A, et al. Emergency nurses’ job satisfaction and its determinants in the hospitals of Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences. Advances in Nursing & Midwifery 2013; 23(80): 10-14. [In Persian].
  5. Visser MR, Smets EM, Oort FJ, De Haes HC. Stress, satisfaction and burnout among Dutch medical specialists. CMAJ 2003; 168(3): 271-5.
  6. Spence Laschinger HK, Leiter MP. The impact of nursing work environments on patient safety outcomes: The mediating role of burnout engagement. J Nurs Adm 2006; 36(5): 259-67.
  7. Baratloo A, Maleki M. Iranian emergency department overcrowding. Journal of Emergency Practice and Trauma 2015; 1(2): 39.
  8. Garrosa E, Moreno-Jimenez B, Liang Y, González JL. The relationship between socio-demographic variables, job stressors, burnout, and hardy personality in nurses: an exploratory study. Int J Nurs Stud 2008; 45(3): 418-27. doi: 10.1016/j.ijnurstu.2006.09.003.
  9. Garrosa E, Rainho C, Moreno-Jimenez B, Monteiro MJ. The relationship between job stressors, hardy personality, coping resources and burnout in a sample of nurses: a correlational study at two time points. Int J Nurs Stud 2010; 47(2): 205-15. doi: 10.1016/j.ijnurstu.2009.05.014.
  10.  Butcher JN, Dahlstrom WG, Graham JR, Tellegen A, Kaemmer B. Manual for the restandardized Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory: MMPI-2. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press; 1989.
  11.  Temple R. Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory. Encyclopedia of Clinical Neuropsychology. Springer; 2011. p. 1629-32.
  12.  Lenzenweger MF. Epidemiology of Personality Disorders. Psychiatr Clin North Am 2008; 31(3): 395-403. doi: 10.1016/j.psc.2008.03.003.
  13.  Grant BF, Chou SP, Goldstein RB, Huang B, Stinson FS, Saha TD, et al. Prevalence, correlates, disability, and comorbidity of DSM-IV borderline personality disorder: results from the Wave 2 National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions. J Clin Psychiatry 2008; 69(4): 533-45.
  14.  Coid J, Yang M, Tyrer P, Roberts A, Ullrich S. Prevalence and correlates of personality disorder in Great Britain. The Br J Psychiatry 2006; 188(5): 423-31. doi: 10.1192/ bjp.188.5.423.
  15. Mealer M, Jones J, Newman J, McFann KK, Rothbaum B, Moss M. The presence of resilience is associated with a healthier psychological profile in intensive care unit (ICU) nurses: results of a national survey. Int J Nurs Stud 2012; 49(3): 292-9. doi: 10.1016/j.ijnurstu.2011.09.015.
  16.  Carson MA, Paulus LA, Lasko NB, Metzger LJ, Wolfe J, Orr SP, et al. Psychophysiologic assessment of posttraumatic stress disorder in Vietnam nurse veterans who witnessed injury or death. Consult Clin Psychol 2000; 68(5): 890-7.
  17. Yang Y, Koh D, Ng V, Lee FC, Chan G, Dong F, et al. Salivary cortisol levels and work-related stress among emergency department nurses. J Occup Environ Med 2001; 43(12): 1011-8.
  18.  Xue C, Ge Y, Tang B, Liu Y, Kang P, Wang M, et al. A meta-analysis of risk factors for combat-related PTSD among military personnel and veterans. PloS One 2015; 10(3): e0120270. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0120270.
  19.  Jahn DR, Poindexter EK, Cukrowicz KC. Personality disorder traits, risk factors, and suicide ideation among older adults. Int Psychogeriatr 2015; 27(11): 1785-94. doi: 10.1017/S1041610215000174