What does personality tell us about working in the bush? Temperament and character traits of Australian remote allied health professionals

Narelle Campbell, Diann Eley, Lindy McAllister

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    12 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Objective: To describe the personality (temperament and character traits) of remote Australian allied health professionals (AHPs). Recent research shows that health professionals can be differentiated by personality traits but little is known about the personality traits of AHPs. Design: Cross-sectional (online) survey design with snowball sampling of participants. Setting and Participants: Australian AHPs (N=561; women, n=502) classified into Remote (n=266), Not Remote (n=295). Main outcome measure(s): Demographic variables and the Temperament and Character Inventory (TCI R-140). Results: Remote AHPs were higher in novelty seeking (P=0.037) and self-transcendence (P=0.042). Remote women were lower in harm avoidance (P=0.042). Older remote AHPS were lower in reward dependence (P=0.001); younger remote AHPs were lower in self directedness (P=0.001) and higher in harm avoidance (P<0.001). Women were more reward dependent (P<0.001) and cooperative (P=0.008) than men. Conclusions: The sample demonstrated personality trait levels aligned with research on rural doctors and nurses and which might be advantageous for working in a challenging environment. Exploring the more stable nature of temperament traits coupled with the modifiable potential of character traits provides new insight into people who choose to work as a remote AHP. These findings might contribute to a better understanding of the personality trends in these AHPs which might provide clues to improve recruitment and retention strategies.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)240-248
    Number of pages9
    JournalAustralian Journal of Rural Health
    Volume21
    Issue number5
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Oct 2013

    Keywords

    • Allied health professional
    • Personality
    • Recruitment
    • Remote practice
    • Retention

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