AN EVALUATION OF AN INTERVENTION TO IMPROVE HEALTH OUTCOMES FOR GROSSARTH- MATICEK DISEASE-PRONE PERSONALITIES
Gatt, J., Hatfield, J. and Job, R.F.S, University of Sydney, Australia
The personality types proposed by Grossarth-Maticek & Eysenck predict eventual mortality of initially healthy individuals with remarkable accuracy. The present study was conducted to examine the mechanisms underlying the association between personality and disease, and to develop a brief intervention for improving behavioural stress responses, stress appraisal and mood. 89 psychology undergraduates were randomly assigned to treatment and control groups, and personality type, stress appraisal, mood, and coping styles were measured before treatment, 2 weeks after treatment, and 2 months after treatment (follow-up). The control group were administered information considered unlikely to influence relevant features of personality. During post-treatment, subjects participated in a computer task in which they were ostracised, and their heart rate and affective responses to this stress task were measured. The intervention appeared to be effective in improving personality types 1 (cancer-prone), 2 (heart disease-prone), and 4 (healthy), stress appraisal, anger and vigor in the treatment group, relative to the control group. These effects of the intervention remained after controlling for demand characteristics and pre- treatment group differences. Furthermore, significant correlations of personality type with stress appraisal, coping, and mood were consistent with Grossarth-Maticek & Eysenck's theory. Thus, the intervention developed in the present study may be useful in changing responses to stress, and so (according to Grossarth-Maticek & Eysenck's research) health outcomes.