The Role of Personality in Predicting Repeat Participation in Periodic Health Screening

Authors


  • This study was conducted at the Tel Aviv Medical Center, as part of the Tel Aviv Medical Center Inflammation Survey (TAMCIS). The authors sincerely acknowledge the invaluable support of Professor Itzhak Shapira, Professor Shlomo Berliner & Professor Samuel Melamed. This study was supported by grant 788/09 from the Israel Science Foundation (ISF), and by grant 2009/41/A from the Israel National Institute for Health Policy and Health Services Research. The authors contributed equally, and their names are listed in alphabetical order.

Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Galit Armon, Department of Psychology, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Haifa, Haifa, Israel. Email: galitarmon@psy.haifa.ac.il.

Abstract

Objective

Drawing on the Five-Factor Model of personality, the aim of the present study was to find out which personality traits predict health maintenance behaviors, reflected in routine participation in health screenings, over and above objective and subjective health status.

Method

Participants were 2,803 employed individuals (61% men), free of background diseases, who underwent a routine health examination and were subsequently notified whether they were healthy or at risk. These participants were invited to repeat the examination within the next few years, as is medically recommended.

Results

Logistic and negative binomial regressions were used to predict participants' odds of returning for a second examination, within the next 7 years, as well as the number of consecutive visits, while controlling for sociodemographic factors, objective and subjective health, and length of follow-up. We found that both endpoints were positively predicted by Conscientiousness and negatively predicted by Extraversion and Openness. The association between Neuroticism and these endpoints followed a bell-shaped curve (i.e., individuals high or low in Neuroticism were less likely to return).

Conclusions

The present findings suggest that personality traits should be taken into consideration in the planning and implementation of health-promoting interventions.

Ancillary