Investigating personality and conceptualising allied health as person or technique oriented

Campbell, Narelle, Eley, Diann and McAllister, Lindy (2014) Investigating personality and conceptualising allied health as person or technique oriented. Australian Health Review, 38 1: 86-92. doi:10.1071/AH13109

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Author Campbell, Narelle
Eley, Diann
McAllister, Lindy
Title Investigating personality and conceptualising allied health as person or technique oriented
Journal name Australian Health Review   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0156-5788
Publication date 2014
Year available 2013
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1071/AH13109
Open Access Status
Volume 38
Issue 1
Start page 86
End page 92
Total pages 7
Place of publication Collingwood, VIC, Australia
Publisher C S I R O Publishing
Collection year 2014
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Objective: Allied Health (AH) includes many diverse professions, each with a unique contribution to healthcare making it possible to consider these professions as person-oriented (PO) or technique-oriented (TO). This paper explored the personality traits of AH professionals from the perspective of both the PO TO orientation and the individual professions.

Methods: Allied Health professionals (N=562) provided demographic data and completed the Temperament and Character Inventory (TCI). Examination of the literature and a consultation process resulted in nine professions classified as PO and ten as TO. Multivariate analyses compared levels of personality traits and demographic variables between the PO (n=492) and TO (n=70) groups, and the professions within the groups.

Results: Professionals in the PO group showed significantly higher levels of traits that emphasise person orientation attributes such as being sociable, empathic, and cooperative in comparison to AH professionals in professions with an emphasis on technical orientation (TO).

Conclusions: Trends in personality traits amongst AH professionals were congruent with the PO TO orientation of their chosen profession. This supports the utility of the PO and TO concepts in describing the AH professions and may provide new clues for policy that aims to enhance job satisfaction, retention and career development.

What is known about the topic? The literature suggests that certain medical specialities can be classified as person (PO) or technique oriented (TO) and that individuals attracted to those specialties display traits that are similar to that orientation. There is scant information on the AH professions regarding similar person or technique orientations.

What does this paper add? The diversity of professions within AH allows a new approach to describing each profession as either PO (socially dependent, cooperative and relationship focused), or TO (focused on skills and procedures). The trend in personality traits of individuals in certain AH professions is compatible with the orientation of that profession. Findings suggest that individuals may be attracted to professions that favour a similar personality pattern to their own.

What are the implications for practitioners? Gaining an improved understanding of the AH professions and individuals who are attracted to them in a climate of workforce shortage and increasing multidisciplinary service demand. The findings provide a new approach to understanding the characteristics of AH professions according to the personalities they attract. This information could guide recruitment and retention policy, and assist in career counselling by providing greater insight into personality profiles that are best suited to certain professions.
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Published online 6 December 2013

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2014 Collection
School of Medicine Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 2 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 2 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Sat, 05 Oct 2013, 18:17:26 EST by Diann Eley on behalf of School of Medicine