Mentor: Dr. James Gerhart
Research: Personality Trait Levels and Access to Palliative Care on a County Level
The purpose of the study was to investigate how changes in the big five personality traits (openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism) relate to access of palliative care on a county level in Michigan. Previous research revealed that higher levels of openness correlate with higher palliative care access in states. Personality traits levels, end-of-life care, and if the county had palliative care access were collected. The analysis revealed that counties with palliative care services in hospitals had higher levels of openness but lower levels of agreeableness. One limitation was that palliative care facilities came from an online database that may not capture all services available in that county. These findings suggest that systems-level attitudes and local culture may shape availability and access to palliative care.