Obesity and chronic pain are conditions that have a high cost to individuals and society. As treatments become increasingly available it is important to identify patients that may need additional support in having a successful outcome. The Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-2 (MMPI-2) is a commonly used assessment in the psychosocial evaluation for both populations. Costello, Hulsey, Schoenfeld and Ramamurthy (1987) proposed a typology of MMPI subgroups within chronic pain patients (P-A-I-N) as well as a classification system. This typology is well supported by other pain researchers and studies have found that certain subgroups have a more successful outcome, suggesting that specific clusters of scale elevations may predict success. There are many factors that make pain patients and bariatric surgery candidates alike, therefore the same MMPI-2 subgroups may exist within samples of the two populations. The present study examined MMPI-2 subgroups among a sample of bariatric surgery candidates and chronic pain patients. Using a hierarchical clustering method both samples were found to have matching subgroups, specifically each sample had a Conversion V subgroup and a Neurotic Triad subgroup. Differences were found between the samples, such as the bariatric sample did not contain a Psychopathology subgroup and the pain sample did not contain a Within Normal Limits subgroup. When using the P-A-I-N classification system many fewer individuals were classified into the subgroups. These findings suggest that chronic pain patients and bariatric surgery candidates may have similarities as measured by the MMPI-2. These findings demonstrate that many of the same MMPI-2 subgroups were found across samples. This information may inform researchers to develop tailored interventions for different subgroups to increase successful outcome.
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