Objectives To examine the role of locus of control and the phenomenon of alexithymia in the formation of psychosomatic personality traits in ankylosing spondylitis (AS) patients.
Methods The group studied, comprised of 27 patients suffering from AS. The selection of patients for the study was conducted in accordance with the recommendations of the group of experts working on AS (ASAS, 2003). The patients were of an average age - 44, 94±13, 8 years and had an average duration of the disease - 3, 02 ± 3, 69 years. The main contingent of patients with AS was represented by males (89%). A study of locus of control was conducted by the method of “level of subjective control” (Bazhin E. F., et al. 1987). The study of alexithymia was conducted using the Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS) (G. J. Taylor et al., 1985).
Results The study of locus of control in patients with AS showed a significant trend towards external locus of control in common sphere (3,81+1,387), as well as on the scale of failures (3,51+0,64), family relations (4,18+0,55), professional relations (2,74+0.98) and in relation to health (4,66+1,94). Trends towards internal locus of control were observed in the sphere of interpersonal interaction and achievements (5, 14+0, 71 and 5.0+1, 24 respectively). Correlation between the levels of locus of control with other clinical and psychological characteristics, such as age, activity, duration of disease and the level of neurotic disorders in patients has not been established.
A high level of alexithymia (77, 35±1.8 points) was also recorded in patients with AS. The level of alexithymia as such, did not depend on sex, age, character of duration and activity of the pathological process, but was inversely correlated with the level of education of the patients (r=-0.37 with p=0,028) and internality in relation to the disease (r=-0,64, p=0.031).
Conclusions Thus, a certain correlation is formed between the development of the alexithymia phenomenon and some clinical and psychological characteristics in AS patients. This correlation is usually causal in nature, the understanding of which has implications for the organization of preventive measures, aimed at correction of alexithymia traits. Characteristics of locus of control in patients with AS can largely be predetermined by the peculiarities in the formation of personal relationships and the choice of certain strategies. These changes may hinder the effectiveness of therapeutic interventions and need for psychological adjustment in time.
Disclosure of Interest None declared