Journal of Behavioral Medicine

, Volume 18, Issue 3, pp 305–313 | Cite as

Personality and patient adherence: Correlates of the five-factor model in renal dialysis

  • Alan J. Christensen
  • Timothy W. Smith


The five-factor taxonomy of personality traits has received increasing attention in the literature regarding personality correlates of health outcomes and behaviors. We examined the association of the five NEO Five-Factor Inventory dimensions to medical regimen adherence in a sample of 72 renal dialysis patients. Results indicated that Conscientiousness (Dimension III) is a five-factor trait significantly associated with adherence to the medication regimen. No other NEO-FFI dimension was significantly associated with patient adherence.

Key Words

adherence conscientiousness renal dialysis chronic illness 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Christensen, A. J., Smith, T. W., Turner, T. W., Holman, J. M., and Gregory, M. C. (1990). Type of hemodialysis and preference for behavioral involvement: Interactive effects on adherence in end-stage renal disease.Health Psychol. 9: 225–236.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Costa, P. T., Jr., and McCrae, R. R. (1987). Neuroticism, somatic complaints, and disease: Is the bark worse than the bite?J. Personal. 55: 299–316.Google Scholar
  3. Costa, P. T., Jr., and McCrae, R. R. (1992).The NEO Personality Inventory-R; Professional Manual, Psychological Assessment Resources, Odessa, FL.Google Scholar
  4. Costa, P. T., Jr., McCrae, R. R., and Dembroski, T. M. (1989). Agreeableness vs. antagonism: Explication of a potential risk factor for CHD. In Siegman, A. W., and Dembroski, T. M. (eds.),In Search of Coronary-Prone Behavior, Lawrence Erlbaum, Hillsdale, NJ, pp. 41–63.Google Scholar
  5. Dembroski, T. M., and Costa, P. T., Jr. (1987). Coronary-prone behavior: Components of the Type A pattern and hostility.J. Personal 55: 211–235.Google Scholar
  6. Digman, J. M. (1990). Personality structure: Emergence of the five-factor model.Annu. Rev. Psychol. 41: 417–440.Google Scholar
  7. Friedman, H. S., Tucker, J. S., Tomlinson-Keasey, C., Schwartz, J. E., Wingard, D. L., and Criqui, M. H. (1993). Does childhood personality predict longevity?J. Personal. Soc. Psychol. 65: 176–185.Google Scholar
  8. Goldberg, L. R. (1993). The structure of phenotypic personality traits.Am. Psychol. 48: 26–34.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. Haynes, R. B., Taylor, D. W., and Sackett, D. L. (1979).Compliance in Health Care, Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore.Google Scholar
  10. Kanfer, F. H. (1975). Self-management methods. In Kanfer, F. H., and Goldstein, A. P. (eds.),Helping People Change, Pergamon Press, New York, pp. 309–355.Google Scholar
  11. Kaplan, R. M., and Simon, H. J. (1990). Compliance in medical care: Reconsideration of self-predictions.Ann. Behav. Med. 12: 66–71.Google Scholar
  12. Leventhal, H., Zimmerman, R., and Gutmann, M. (1984). Adherence: A self-regulation perspective. In Gentry, W. D. (ed.),Handbook of Behavioral Medicine, Guilford, New York, pp. 369–436.Google Scholar
  13. McCrae, R. R., and Costa, P. T., Jr. (1987). Validation of the five-factor model of personality across instruments and observers.J. Personal. Soc. Psychol. 52: 81–90.Google Scholar
  14. McCrae, R. R., and John, O. P. (1992). An introduction to the Five-Factor Model and its applications.J. Personal. 60: 175–215.Google Scholar
  15. Meichenbaum, D. H., and Turk, D. C. (1987).Facilitating Treatment Adherence: A Practitioner's Guidebook, Plenum Press, New York.Google Scholar
  16. Rosenbaum, M., and Ben-Ari Smira, K. (1986). Cognitive and personality factors in the delay of gratification of hemodialysis patients.J. Personal. Soc. Psychol. 51: 357–364.Google Scholar
  17. Sherbourne, C. D., Hays, R. D., Ordway, L., DiMatteo, M. R., and Kravitz, R. L. (1992). Antecedents of adherence to medical recommendations: Results from the Medical Outcomes Study.J. Behav. Med. 15: 447–468.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. Smith, T. W., and Williams, P. G. (1992). Personality and health: Advantages and limitations of the five-factor model.J. Personal. 60: 395–423.Google Scholar
  19. Stanton, A. L. (1987). Determinants of adherence to medical regimes by hypertensive patients.J. Behav. Med. 10: 377–394.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. Turk, D. C., and Meichenbaum, D. (1989). Adherence to self-care regimens: The patient's perspective. In Sweet, J., Rozensky, R., and Tovian, S. M. (eds.),Handbook of Clinical Psychology in Medical Settings, Plenum, New York, pp. 249–266.Google Scholar
  21. Watson, D., and Pennebaker, J. W. (1989). Health complaints, stress, and distress: Exploring the central role of negative affectivity.Psychol. Rev. 96: 234–254.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  22. Wolcott, D. W., Maida, C. A., Diamond, R., and Nissenson, A. R. (1986). Treatment compliance in end-stage renal disease patients on dialysis.Am. J. Nephrol. 6: 329–338.PubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alan J. Christensen
    • 1
  • Timothy W. Smith
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Psychology, E11 Seashore HallUniversity of IowaIowa City
  2. 2.University of UtahSalt Lake City

Personalised recommendations