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The impact of personality factors on delay in seeking treatment of acute myocardial infarction

Mona Schlyter13*, Lena André-Petersson2, Gunnar Engström2, Patrik Tydén12 and Margareta Östman

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Cardiology, Skåne University Hospital, 20502 Malmö, Sweden

2 Cardiovascular Epidemiology Research Group, Department of Clinical Sciences, Lund University, 20502 Malmö, Sweden

3 Faculty of Health and Society, Malmö University, 20506 Malmö, Sweden

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BMC Cardiovascular Disorders 2011, 11:21  doi:10.1186/1471-2261-11-21

Published: 19 May 2011



Early hospital arrival and rapid intervention for acute myocardial infarction is essential for a successful outcome. Several studies have been unable to identify explanatory factors that slowed decision time. The present study examines whether personality, psychosocial factors, and coping strategies might explain differences in time delay from onset of symptoms of acute myocardial infarction to arrival at a hospital emergency room.


Questionnaires on coping strategies, personality dimensions, and depression were completed by 323 patients ages 26 to 70 who had suffered an acute myocardial infarction. Tests measuring stress adaptation were completed by 180 of them. The patients were then categorised into three groups, based on time from onset of symptoms until arrival at hospital, and compared using logistic regression analysis and general linear models.


No correlation could be established between personality factors (i.e., extraversion, neuroticism, openness, agreeableness, conscientiousness) or depressive symptoms and time between onset of symptoms and arrival at hospital. Nor was there any significant relationship between self-reported patient coping strategies and time delay.


We found no significant relationship between personality factors, coping strategies, or depression and time delays in seeking hospital after an acute myocardial infraction.