Use of an Innovative Personality-Mindset Profiling Tool to Guide Culture-Change Strategies among Different Healthcare Worker Groups

PLoS One. 2015 Oct 21;10(10):e0140509. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0140509. eCollection 2015.

Abstract

Introduction: Important culture-change initiatives (e.g. improving hand hygiene compliance) are frequently associated with variable uptake among different healthcare worker (HCW) categories. Inherent personality differences between these groups may explain change uptake and help improve future intervention design.

Materials and methods: We used an innovative personality-profiling tool (ColourGrid®) to assess personality differences among standard HCW categories at five large Australian hospitals using two data sources (HCW participant surveys [PS] and generic institution-wide human resource [HR] data) to: a) compare the relative accuracy of these two sources; b) identify differences between HCW groups and c) use the observed profiles to guide design strategies to improve uptake of three clinically-important initiatives (improved hand hygiene, antimicrobial stewardship and isolation procedure adherence).

Results: Results from 34,243 HCWs (HR data) and 1045 survey participants (PS data) suggest that HCWs were different from the general population, displaying more individualism, lower power distance, less uncertainty avoidance and greater cynicism about advertising messages. HR and PS data were highly concordant in identifying differences between the three key HCW categories (doctors, nursing/allied-health, support services) and predicting appropriate implementation strategies. Among doctors, the data suggest that key messaging should differ between full-time vs part-time (visiting) senior medical officers (SMO, VMO) and junior hospital medical officers (HMO), with SMO messaging focused on evidence-based compliance, VMO initiatives emphasising structured mandatory controls and prestige loss for non-adherence, and for HMOs focusing on leadership opportunity and future career risk for non-adherence.

Discussion: Compared to current standardised approaches, targeted interventions based on personality differences between HCW categories should result in improved infection control-related culture-change uptake. Personality profiling based on HR data may represent a useful means of developing a national culture-change "blueprint" for HCW education.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Australia
  • Female
  • Guideline Adherence / statistics & numerical data*
  • Hand Disinfection*
  • Hospitals
  • Humans
  • Infection Control / methods
  • Male
  • Medical Staff, Hospital / psychology*
  • Personality / physiology
  • Personality Assessment / statistics & numerical data*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires

Grant support

This work was funded by Hand Hygiene Australia and the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care. The marketing research company XAX Pty. Ltd., (Melbourne, Australia) was contracted to conduct ColourGrid surveys and analyses – this was undertaken by one co-investigator (CSX), who is an employee (CEO) of XAX Pty. Ltd. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript. XAX Pty. Ltd provided support in the form of salary for author CSX, but did not have any additional role in the study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript. The specific role of this author is articulated in the ‘author contributions’ section.