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The objective for this study was to explore if characteristics of personality type using the Preferred Communication Style Questionnaire, in concert with the demographic characteristics of age, education, and race/ethnicity, are associated with, and help predict, individuals’ medication adherence behavior.

Data were collected via an on-line survey, sent to a sample of adults residing in the United States, between April 28 and June 22, 2015. Out of 26,173 responses to the survey, 16,736 reported taking one or more medications and were eligible for inclusion in this study.

The development of the Adherence Predictive Index (API) used mean Morisky Medication Adherence Scale (MMAS-8) scores for each of eight personality types as a starting point. API scores were calculated by adding or subtracting specific values to each group’s mean MMAS-8 score based on personality type, age, education and race/ethnicity characteristics which were demonstrated to have significant effects on adherence. The weighting system was informed by linear regression, logistic regression, personality type literature, researcher experience, and previous qualitative and quantitative research. The resultant score was converted to an API score that ranged from 1 to 5 so that it would be feasible for health care providers to understand and use.

The findings showed that an Adherence Predictive Index (API) could be developed based upon a relatively small number of questions that focus on personality type and generational, educational, and cultural experiences. It was developed in order to be a component of a comprehensive program that has the goals of (1) identifying and describing specific behavioral strategies individuals are most likely to successfully employ, (2) motivating patients by using their preferred communication style, and (3) predicting each patient’s propensity to adhere. Future research is needed to evaluate the index’s validity, sensitivity, and effectiveness in actual practice compared with other risk indices.


This article was originally published in Innovations in Pharmacy, volume 7, in 2016.


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