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June 1987

Personality Trends in Keratoconus: An Analysis

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Ophthalmology (Drs Mannis and Zadnik) and Psychiatry (Dr Morrison), University of California, Davis, Sacramento; and the Iowa Lions Cornea Center, Department of Ophthalmology, University of Iowa, Iowa City (Drs Holland and Krachmer).

Arch Ophthalmol. 1987;105(6):798-800. doi:10.1001/archopht.1987.01060060084038

• Patients with keratoconus frequently are described as having peculiar personality characteristics, despite the lack of controlled studies in the ophthalmologic or psychiatric literature. We studied 109 subjects, using a standardized personality inventory (the Millon Clinical Multiaxial Inventory) that measures 20 personality scales—both normal and pathologic. Subjects were divided into three agematched groups: (1) patients with keratoconus, (2) patients with other chronic eye diseases, and (3) normal controls. Results indicated that although chronic eye disease, including keratoconus, did have an impact on personality functioning in young and middle-aged adults, no specific complex of personality characteristics attributable to keratoconus could be identified. Patients with keratoconus differed from normal controls in much the same way as did patients with other chronic eye diseases, being less conforming and more passive-aggressive, paranoid, and hypomanic. They tended to more disorganized patterns of thinking and scored higher on substance abuse indicators. The influence of keratoconus on personality may be a function of the timing and nature of its onset in the context of the patient's psychosocial development.

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