Suitability of the TEMPS-A for population-based studies: ease of administration and stability of affective temperaments in its Lebanese version

BACKGROUND: The Temperament Evaluation of Memphis Pisa Paris and San Diego Auto-questionnaire (TEMPS-A) has been translated and validated into several languages, and used in different subgroups (e.g. clinical, students, company, employees and those with different educational levels). METHODS: Lebanon is the only country that has validated the TEMPS-A in a national cohort, as part of the Lebanese Evaluation of the Burden of Ailments and Needs Of the Nation (LEBANON). In this paper, we test the suitability of the TEMPS-A for large scale epidemiologic population-based studies. RESULTS: 82.1% of the respondents found the TEMPS-A to be easy to understand. The global reports of the Lebanese of their own temperaments paralleled those of the formal sub-scores on the five affective temperament subscales. The majority of respondents (90.3%) felt that their answers on the Lebanese-Arabic TEMPS-A scale represented them throughout their adulthood; the minority who did not were more likely to be older, and to have scored higher on the cyclothymic, and lower on the hyperthymic subscales. LIMITATION: Although the TEMPS-A has been designed for self-administration (auto-questionnaire), this was not practical in all subjects. We nonetheless feel that the interview format is viable as it introduces flexibility with certain subjects in population studies. CONCLUSIONS: The TEMPS-A appears to be suitable for use in epidemiologic surveys and research.