Neuroticism, health and health behaviours in emergency personnel: a UK Biobank study

Mutambudzi, M., Flowers, P. and Demou, E. (2020) Neuroticism, health and health behaviours in emergency personnel: a UK Biobank study. Occupational Medicine, (doi: 10.1093/occmed/kqz169) (PMID:31951004) (Early Online Publication)

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Abstract

Background Emergency personnel face unpredictable and challenging incidents and their resilience and ability to cope influences their well-being. Personality traits, such as neuroticism, are postulated to be robust predictors of health and health behaviours. Despite evidence in the general population that neuroticism can positively impact health and health behaviours; to date neuroticism in emergency personnel has primarily been associated with adverse health outcomes. Aims To assess whether neuroticism has a negative or positive impact on subjective and objective health and health behaviours in emergency personnel. Methods This study used cross-sectional UK Biobank baseline data of emergency personnel (police, firemen and paramedics). Logistic regression models examined the strength of the associations of neuroticism tertiles with subjective (self-reported overall health and chronic conditions) and objective health (abdominal obesity) and self-reported smoking, sleeping, alcohol use and exercise levels. Results High neuroticism was positively associated with poorer subjective health outcomes in all emergency personnel (n = 2483). The association between neuroticism and chronic disease/s was significant for police in the second (odds ratio [OR] = 1.93, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.15–1.94) and third (OR = 1.62, 95% CI = 1.21–2.16) neuroticism tertiles. Neuroticism in firemen was associated with reduced abdominal obesity (OR = 0.49, 95% CI = 0.25–0.96) and increased exercise (OR = 2.14, 95% CI = 1.07–4.25). Conclusions We observed positive and negative associations between neuroticism and health outcomes and behaviours. While differences were observed across the emergency personnel groups, more research is needed to better understand how personality traits may impact health in workers with physically and mentally intense jobs.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Early Online Publication
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Demou, Dr Evangelia and Mutambudzi, Dr Miriam and Flowers, Professor Paul
Authors: Mutambudzi, M., Flowers, P., and Demou, E.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Health and Wellbeing > MRC/CSO SPHSU
Journal Name:Occupational Medicine
Publisher:Oxford University Press
ISSN:0962-7480
ISSN (Online):1471-8405
Published Online:17 January 2020
Copyright Holders:Copyright © The Authors 2020
First Published:First published in Occupational Medicine 2020
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons license

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
727641SPHSU Core Renewal: Setting and Health Improvement Research ProgrammeKathryn HuntMedical Research Council (MRC)MC_UU_12017/12IHW - MRC/CSO SPHU
SPHSU12
168560MRC SPHSU/GU Transfer FellowshipsLaurence MooreMedical Research Council (MRC)MC_PC_13027HW - MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Sciences Unit