Personality Predictors of Emergency Department Post-Discharge Outcomes


  • Olivia E. Atherton Orcid
  • Emily C. Willroth Orcid
  • Ted Schwaba Orcid
  • Ayla J. Goktan Orcid
  • Eileen K. Graham Orcid
  • David M. Condon Orcid
  • Mitesh B. Rao Orcid
  • Daniel K. Mroczek Orcid


Personality traits are important predictors of health behaviors, healthcare utilization, and health outcomes. However, we know little about the role of personality traits for emergency department outcomes. The present study used data from 200 patients (effective Ns range from 84 to 191), who were being discharged from the emergency department at an urban hospital, to investigate whether the Big Five personality traits were associated with post-discharge outcomes (i.e., filling prescriptions, following up with primary care physician, making an unscheduled return to the emergency department). Using logistic regression, we found few associations among the broad Big Five domains and post-discharge outcomes. However, results showed statistically significant associations between specific Big Five items (e.g., “responsible”) and the three post-discharge outcomes. This study demonstrates the feasibility of assessing personality traits in an emergency medicine setting and highlights the utility of having information about patients’ personality tendencies for predicting post-discharge compliance.