Background: Despite increasing emphasis on using multiple methods to assess personality constructs in psychosomatic research, previous investigations of relations between alexithymia and type A behavior (TAB) have been limited by the use of single methods of measurement and almost no attempt to assess subcomponents of TAB. The aims of this study were to (1) evaluate levels of agreement between structured interview assessments of alexithymia, TAB, hostility, and time urgency and well-established self-report measures of these constructs, and (2) explore relations between alexithymia and TAB and its subcomponents in patients with coronary heart disease (CHD). Methods: 62 CHD patients were investigated 6 weeks after coronary angioplasty. Alexithymia was assessed with the Diagnostic Criteria for Psychosomatic Research (DCPR) and the 20-item Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS-20). TAB was assessed with the DCPR and the Short Form of the Jenkins Activity Survey Type A scale (JAS-SF). Time urgency was assessed with the DCPR and the Speed/Impatience scale of the Jenkins Activity Survey (JAS-S), and hostility was assessed with the DCPR and the Hostility subscale of the Revised Symptom Checklist-90 (SCL-HOS). Results: The DCPR classifications showed reasonably high levels of agreement with the TAS-20 and JAS-SF classifications of alexithymia and TAB, but lower levels of agreement in identifying patients with high hostility on the SCL-HOS and high time urgency on the JAS-S. Alexithymia measured by both the DCPR and the TAS-20 was unrelated to both self-report and structured interview measures of TAB, hostility, and time urgency. Conclusions: The DCPR is a suitable screening instrument for assessing alexithymia and TAB, although the two constructs are unrelated.

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