The negative association of independent personality and medication adherence

Kathleen C. Insel, Sheryl L. Reminger, Chao Pin Hsiao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Objectives: This investigation examines the association of personality factors and medication adherence among older adults. Method: The Six-Factor Personality Questionnaire was mailed to participants involved in a medication adherence investigation. Medication adherence was monitored with an electronic monitoring cap for 8 weeks for one prescribed daily medication. Results: Sixty older adults, mean age 77 years (range 67 to 93 years), returned the questionnaire (69% response rate). Stepwise regression analysis demonstrates that when age and level of education are controlled, independence predicts medication adherence. This factor demonstrates a negative relationship with adherence suggesting that higher levels of independence may be related to lower adherence to prescribed medication. The facet component self-reliance is predictive of poor medication adherence. Discussion: The finding that higher self-reliance is associated with lower adherence in an older population deserves further investigation and clinical consideration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)407-418
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Aging and Health
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2006


  • Medication adherence
  • Older adults
  • Personality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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