A Comparison Between the MMPI-2 Profiles in Tuberculosis and other Pulmonary Diseases


1 Department of Infectious Diseases, NRITLD, Shaheed Beheshti University of Medical Sciences,

2 University of Social Welfare and Rehabilitation,

3 Department of Thoracic Surgery,

4 Department of Pulmonary Medicine, NRITLD, Shaheed Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran-IRAN


Background: Globally, tuberculosis (TB) causes the greatest mortality due to a single infectious agent. Apart from the
pulmonary damages, its psychological aspects are of great concern. This study aimed at a comparison between the MMPI-2
(Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory) profiles in TB patients and the patients with other lung diseases.
Materials and Methods: New cases of tuberculosis (recently documented TB patients) were interviewed and also took the
MMPI-2 test 15 days after admission to the hospital.
Control subjects consisted of the patients with lung diseases other than tuberculosis, hospitalized in the pulmonary internal
and surgical wards of the hospital. They were interviewed and took the MMPI test as well. The results were analyzed with
Hotelling's T2 and t-test using NCSS 2000.
Results: Of 120 patients in this study, 60 had pulmonary TB and 60 were non-TB control patients. The mean age of the
patients was 35.18 years. Eight clinical scales of the MMPI-2 (Ma, Sc, Pt, Pa, Pd, Hy, D, Hs) with T scores less than 50
(<50), 50-70, and more than 70 (>70), respectively, represented the normal personality, tendency for psychological disorders,
and psychological disorder. Depression Scale (D) in TB group showed 7 patients (%11) <50, 43 patients (%71) 50-70, and
10 patients (%16) >70. In the same group, Psychopathic Deviate scale (Pd) revealed 6 patients (%10) <50, 51 patients
(%85) 50-70, and 3 persons (%5) >70. Both of the scales showed a significant difference in cases over the control group
(p=0.006 for D and p=0.0001 for Pd). All the MMPI scales together showed a significant difference (p=0.0139) in TB patients
over the controls.
Conclusion: The difference in personality profiles of TB patients with those of the controls, and the higher D and Pd scores
in TB group can indicate the higher risk of TB for persons with depression and psychopathic deviation. But it may also be due
to the confounding effect of mood on the MMPI-2 test results. (Tanaffos 2003; 2(5), 43-49)