Personal factors and health literacy as predictors of health decision-making styles among outpatients in a Nigerian tertiary health facility


  • Adeboye M. Fatunbi
  • Abel C. Obosi
  • Rachael B Asagba


Health Decision Making Styles, Personality traits, Health literacy, Health locus of control.


Experts have argued that individuals have habitual tendencies to approach various problems in consistently similar ways. They have identified a variety of methods for eliciting health decisions that indicate what patients' preferences are. However, these methods frequently provide little information about why and what led to patients' preferences. This study examined the prediction of personal factors (personality traits & health locus of control) and health literacy on Health Decision Making Styles (HDMS) among outpatients.
Ex-post facto descriptive cross-sectional survey design was adopted. This involved purposively sampled 80 outpatients with mean age at 34.74±10.14. A 64-item self-report questionnaire comprising socio-demographics, personality traits (α=.54), health literacy (α=.48), health locus of control (α=.86) and health decision-making styles (α=.89) was administered. Data collected were analyzed using descriptive statistics, Pearson and hierarchical multiple regression analysis at 0.05 level of significance. In all, six hypotheses were tested.
After statistically controlling for gender, age and educational level, the results revealed that personal factors and health literacy significantly jointly predicted HDMS while chance health locus of control was found to be an independent predictor of HDMS. Furthermore, components of HDMS were jointly predicted by personal factors and health literacy. Specifically, along the line of the independent prediction, rational style was significantly predicted by internal health locus of control. Chance health locus of control significantly predicted Intuitive style; Conscientiousness and Powerful Others health locus of control significantly predicted Dependent and Spontaneous styles respectively; while Conscientiousness, Health literacy and Chance health locus of control significantly predicted Avoidant HDMS among Outpatients.
Finally, personal factors and health literacy were found to be strong joint predictors of HDMS and its components. As a result, understanding how personality influences HDMS can assist clinicians better adapt treatment intervention to enhance patient-centered care while also revealing which personality qualities and levels of control over one's health are motivating elements in health decision-making.