• caregiver;
  • coping style;
  • hemodialysis patient;
  • mental health;
  • personality

Abstract  The aim of this study was to obtain information that would enable caregivers to provide the necessary psychological care for hemodialysis patients. A total of 608 hemodialysis patients completed the questionnaire of the Neuroticism, Extroversion, Openness–Five Factor Inventory and were subsequently classified by personality types using cluster analysis. In comparison to the norms for the general Japanese adult population, the four-dimensional average of extroversion, openness, agreeableness, and conscientiousness among hemodialysis patients was significantly lower (P < 0.001), especially for openness. The openness score correlated with each of the following: age (P < 0.001), employment (P < 0.01), and diabetes (P < 0.001). Four personality types were defined based on these dimensions. High scores for agreeableness, extroversion and conscientiousness characterized the agreeable type (22.6%). The patients in this type will likely accept their own experiences in a positive manner. Submissive types (22.0%) received the lowest scores for conscientiousness, though extroversion, openness, and agreeableness were also low. It is necessary to enhance a sense of independence and responsibility in patients with submissive type personalities. Sensitive types (21.5%) were characterized by the highest neuroticism scores and low scores for the other four dimensions. The patients in this type were likely to be persistent with changes in conditions. The last type was the balanced type (33.9%), which was defined by scores within mean range. In clinical practice, it is particularly important that the submissive and sensitive types should receive appropriate mental health care.