Applying Personality Type Theory to Develop Individualized Wellness Plans for Reducing Chronic Diseases

  • Jon C. Schommer University of Minnesota - Twin Cities
  • Paul D. Tieger
  • Anthony W. Olson
  • Lawrence M. Brown Chapman University
Keywords: Wellness, Personality Type, Chronic Disease


Objective: The objective of this study was to explore if characteristics of personality type (using the Preferred Communication Style Questionnaire) are associated with activities people prefer for getting adequate exercise, losing weight, managing stress, quitting smoking, reducing alcohol consumption, and taking medications as prescribed.

Methods: The data source for this study was the 2016 National Consumer Survey of the Medication Experience and Pharmacists’ Roles. Data were collected via an on-line, self-administered survey conducted from March 14-30, 2016. Data were obtained from 10,500 adults residing in the United States. Chi-square analysis was used for making comparisons between categories of personality types and how respondents believed they could best reach their personal goals. Statistical significance was set at p < 0.05. Practical significance was set at five or more percentage points above or below the overall mean.

Results: Findings showed that (1) there are key differences between individuals that impact their behavior and (2) these differences can be easily and accurately identified using the Preferred Communication Style Questionnaire. The findings supported the notion that individuals are more likely to experience success in changing health-risk behaviors if they engage in activities that are consistent with (i) how they are energized, (ii) the kind of information they naturally notice, (iii) how they prefer to make decisions, and (iv) their preferences to live in a more structured way or in a more spontaneous way.

Conclusions: Personality type characteristics can be used to develop and implement successful change strategies and intervention tools, such as individualized wellness plans (IWPTM) that help promote intention stability, create implementation intention, resist situational pressure, reduce the impact of past habits on future performances, and improve change maintenance.

Conflict of Interest

We declare no conflicts of interest or financial interests that the authors or members of their immediate families have in any product or service discussed in the manuscript, including grants (pending or received), employment, gifts, stock holdings or options, honoraria, consultancies, expert testimony, patents and royalties.


Type: Original Research

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Published: 2017-01-23
Practice-Based Research