Pedro Olivares Tirado

Pedro Olivares Tirado

Superintendencia de Salud, Chile

Title: Personality factors and self-perceived health in Chilean elderly population


Pedro Olivares Tirado has completed his graduation from the University of Chile as Medical Doctor, with the specialty in Abdominal Surgery and Diploma in Digestive Laparoscopic Surgery from the University of Paris, Faculty of Medicine Paris France. Later on he obtained MBA from Civil Industrial Engineering Department, University of Chile and MSc in Health Economics from University of York, UK and PhD in Human Care Sciences from the University of Tsukuba, Japan. After 2000, he started working at the Research & Development Department of the Chilean Superintendence of Health, where he became a Senior Researcher and has continued his research focused in ageing population and his impact in healthcare spending, quality of life and well-being of the elderly people. Recently, he has been invited as an Academic Visitor to the PSSRU-London School Economics and Political Sciences to participate in the MODEM Project


Statement of the Problem: Empirical evidence suggests that the stability of personality itself contributes to successful ageing and is associated with a longer life. The aim of this study was to investigate the association between personality traits and the self-perceived health status (SPH), stratified by medical conditions in a representative sample of non-institutionalized elderly people in Chile.

Methodology & Theoretical Orientation: The data used come from the fourth waves (2009) of the Chilean Social Protection Survey. The samples were 2,655 subjects aged 65 and over. Personality trait was measured with the TIPI Questionnaire and SPH, was assessed with a Likert-scale item question based on EU-SILC question on self-perceived health. SPH variable was aggregated into two categories: good health (i.e., excellent, very good and good) and poor health (i.e., poor and very poor). Fair category was excluded. MANOVA was used for statistical analysis.

Findings: Higher scores of all 5-personality factors were associated with good health. Perception of poor health was associated with female, lower education level and aged people. Extraversion, conscientiousness, emotional stability and openness, showed a significant associations with SPH, among elderly with medical conditions. Conversely, a significant association with SPH among elderly without medical problems, was demonstrated for, extraversion, agreeableness and emotional stability.

Conclusion & Significance: A consistent association between personality factors and SPH throughout the elderly people was demonstrated. We suggest that extraversion and openness traits could be acting as protector factors and agreeableness and conscientiousness traits as resilient factors, facing to the health problems among elderly people