Association between dietitians’ personality profiles and practice areas

Ball, Lauren, Eley, Diann S., Desbrow, Ben, Lee, Patricia and Fergusson, Maree (2015) Association between dietitians’ personality profiles and practice areas. Nutrition and Dietetics, 73 3: 247-253. doi:10.1111/1747-0080.12222

Author Ball, Lauren
Eley, Diann S.
Desbrow, Ben
Lee, Patricia
Fergusson, Maree
Title Association between dietitians’ personality profiles and practice areas
Journal name Nutrition and Dietetics   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1747-0080
Publication date 2015-09-23
Year available 2015
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/1747-0080.12222
Open Access Status Not Open Access
Volume 73
Issue 3
Start page 247
End page 253
Total pages 7
Place of publication Richmond, Victoria, Australia
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell Publishing
Collection year 2016
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Aim: Personality traits refer to habitual patterns of behaviour, thoughts and emotions, and have been shown to influence health professionals' career pathways. The present study explored the associations between dietitians' personality profiles and the areas of dietetic practice they have previously worked.

Methods: Survey of 346 dietitians; 95% female; aged 32 ± 10 years; median 7 years (range 0–35) since graduation. Personality traits were investigated using the Temperament and Character Inventory, and cluster analysis was used to group participants into three clusters, known as Profiles, based upon common combinations of personality trait levels. Relationships between personality clusters and areas of dietetic practice were investigated using univariate and multivariate analyses.

Results: Compared with other participants, dietitians in Profile A displayed moderate levels of Harm Avoidance, Persistence and Self-Directedness; dietitians in Profile B displayed higher levels of Persistence and Self-Directedness, and lower levels of Harm Avoidance; and dietitians in Profile C displayed higher levels of Harm Avoidance and lower levels of Persistence and Self-Directedness. Dietitians in Profile A were twice as likely to have worked in Private Practice/Consultancy compared with Profile C (OR = 1.90, 95% CI: 1.07–3.38, P < 0.05), and dietitians in Profile B were over four times more likely to have worked in Food Service Management compared with Profile C (OR = 4.35, 95% CI: 1.47–12.84, P < 0.01).

Conclusions: Dietitians' personality may influence their decision to work in some areas of dietetic practice. Employees and employers should be mindful of personal traits when making employment decisions because some environments may be more conducive to specific attributes of dietitians to facilitate competent performance in a role.
Keyword Career counselling
Professional practice
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2016 Collection
School of Human Movement and Nutrition Sciences Publications
School of Medicine Publications
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Created: Sat, 10 Oct 2015, 14:54:47 EST by Diann Eley on behalf of School of Medicine