There is evidence that both personality traits and personal beliefs about medications affect adherence behavior. However, limited research exists on how personality and beliefs about asthma medication interact in influencing adherence behavior in people with asthma. To extend our knowledge in this area of adherence research, we aimed to determine the mediating effects of beliefs about asthma medication between personality traits and adherence behavior.
Asthmatics (n=516) selected from a population-based study called West Sweden Asthma Study completed the Neuroticism, Extraversion and Openness to Experience Five-Factor Inventory, the Medication Adherence Report Scale, and the Beliefs about Medicines Questionnaire. Data were analyzed using confirmatory factor analysis and structural equation modeling.
Three of the five investigated personality traits – agreeableness, conscientiousness, and neuroticism – were associated with both concerns about asthma medication and adherence behavior. Concerns functioned as a partial mediator for the influencing effects of agreeableness, conscientiousness, and neuroticism on adherence behavior.
The findings suggest that personality traits could be used to identify individuals with asthma who need support with their adherence behavior. Additionally, targeting concerns about asthma medication in asthmatics with low levels of agreeableness or conscientiousness or high levels of neuroticism could have a favorable effect on their adherence behavior.