An evaluation of personality traits associated with job satisfaction among South African anaesthetists using the big five inventory

P. Kisten*, H. Kluyts

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Job satisfaction is a vital contributor to occupational well-being and may be instrumental in mitigating stress and the adverse effects thereof. This is particularly pertinent in anaesthesiology, which is an inherently stressful field. There are myriad factors, including personality traits, shown to influence job satisfaction. Personality testing is conducted in many industries prior to recruitment; however, this is not the case in medicine. Currently the prevailing tool for the aforementioned purpose is the Big Five Inventory based on the well-described Five Factor Model of personality. Methods: A cross-sectional survey was utilised with electronic questionnaires distributed to all 1 509 members of the South African Society of Anaesthesiologists in 2016. Specialists, registrars, diploma-qualified and full-time general practitioner anaesthetists working in both the private and public sectors were included. Results: A response rate of 31% was achieved. Statistical analysis demonstrated that Neuroticism was the strongest and most consistent negative correlate of job satisfaction, while Agreeableness was positively associated with job satisfaction. Encouragingly, a mean of 65.6% was recorded for job satisfaction using a visual analogue scale. Socio-demographic variables positively associated with job satisfaction included increasing age, male gender, private practice and specialist/diploma qualification. Conclusions: Information gleaned from this study may prove useful in vocational counselling with the aim of improving occupational well-being, thereby reducing burnout and maladaptive behaviour among South African anaesthetists.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9-15
Number of pages7
JournalSouthern African Journal of Anaesthesia and Analgesia
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Anaesthetists
  • Big five inventory
  • Five factor model
  • Job satisfaction
  • Personality traits


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