Patient Adherence in Chronic Illness: Personality and Coping In Context


  • Preparation of this article was supported by National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases Grant DK49129–01 awarded to Alan Christensen.

Please address correspondence concerning this article to Alan J. Christensen, Department of Psychology, Ell Seashore Hall, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA 52242. E-mail:


ABSTRACT Previous reviews have concluded that there is no evidence for a predictable association between person factors and regimen adherence in chronic illness. The brief current review of the literature reveals that past work has been limited by the lack of a common structural theory of personality and the failure to consider the interaction of person factors with disease and treatment context. Application of the five-factor model of personality to adherence research will reduce divergence in the field and and in the orientation and interpretation of future work. Evidence suggests that an interactive perspective recognizing the moderating influence of contextual factors on the behavioral expression of personality traits will contribute to the prediction of adherence behavior.