Research Summary: The Influence of Personality Traits on Reported Adherence to Medication in Individuals with Chronic Disease: An Epidemiological Study in West Sweden

ABSTRACT

Background

Limited research exists exploring the influence of personality on adherence behaviour. Since non-adherence is a major obstacle in treating prevalent chronic diseases the aim was to determine whether personality traits are related to reported adherence to medication in individuals with chronic disease.


Methodology/Principal Findings

Individuals with chronic disease (n = 749) were identified in a random population sample of 5000 inhabitants aged 30–70 in two municipalities in West Sweden. Data on five personality traits, Neuroticism, Extraversion, Openness to experiences, Agreeableness, and Conscientiousness, and medication adherence behaviour was collected by questionnaires. Statistical analyses resulted in a negative relationship between Neuroticism and medication adherence (P<0.001), while both Agreeableness (P<0.001) and Conscientiousness (P<0.001) were positively related to adherence. At high levels of Conscientiousness, low adherence was related to higher scores in Neuroticism. At high levels of Agreeableness, low adherence was related to low scores in Conscientiousness and high scores in Openness to experiences.


Conclusions

This study demonstrated that multiple personality traits are of significant importance for adherence behaviour in individuals with chronic disease. The findings suggest that several personality traits may interact in influencing adherence behaviour. Personality traits could putatively be used to focus efforts to educate and support patients with high risk of low medical adherence.

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Publisher: Public Library of Science

Date Published: 28-March-2011

Author(s): Axelsson M., Brink E., Lundgren J., Lötvall J.

Link: https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0018241

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