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Relationship Between A Physical Therapist's Personality Type and Current Practice Setting

1 May 1999


A physical therapist may choose to work in a given practice setting based upon many different factors. Personality may be one such factor. The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) has been used extensively by the business and medical professions to determine if relationships exist between a person's personality type and his/her area of specialty or how he/she relates to colleagues. However, to the authors' knowledge, there has not been a specific study which examines the relationship between a physical therapist's personality type (as indicated by the MBTI) and his/her current practice setting.

The present study determined individual personality types (according to MBTI) and current practice settings for 64 physical therapists. It attempted to find a relationship between these two variables. Subjects were physical therapists that were employed at clinical sites affiliated with Pacific University School of Physical Therapy. ii Each participant filled out Form G of the MBTI and a short questionnaire informing the researchers of that subject's current setting. Both were returned to the researchers via U.S. mail. The information yielded was scored by hand to determine each subject's personality type. This information, along with the current setting for that subject, was analyzed with Chi-square, Cramer's V, and the Contigency Coefficient. Results showed that there was no relationship between a physical therapist's personality type and their current setting. There did however appear to be trends that all of the therapists surveyed followed such as the following: ISTJ over any other complete type, equal distribution of extroverts and introverts, and a higher proportion of judging over perceiving. Based on the results of this study, physical therapists have a wide variety of personality types and adapt well to different work environments. This is supported by the satisfaction portion of the Form G of the MBTI, in which the majority of the therapist's reported to be very satisfied with their job.


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