Understanding and applying personality types in healthcare communication
Intended for healthcare professionals

Understanding and applying personality types in healthcare communication

Louise Terry Associate Professor, London South Bank University, England

Why you should read this article:
  • To identify the range of individual personality types

  • To understand how knowledge of personality types can improve your communication with colleagues and patients

  • To count towards revalidation as part of your 35 hours of CPD, or you may wish to write a reflective account (UK readers)

  • To contribute towards your professional development and local registration renewal requirements (non-UK readers)

Understanding personality types can assist nurses in enhancing their understanding of themselves and their colleagues, which in turn can support effective communication. This article outlines the principles of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) – a personality inventory that aims to improve the understanding of psychological types – and details the characteristics of the MBTI’s 16 different personality types. The article explores how these 16 personality types can influence communication within healthcare teams and between healthcare professionals. It also discusses how these personality types affect styles of nurse leadership and how an understanding of personality types can improve nurses’ communication with patients.

Nursing Standard. doi: 10.7748/ns.2020.e11509

Peer review

This article has been subject to external double-blind peer review and checked for plagiarism using automated software



Conflict of interest

None declared

Terry L (2020) Understanding and applying personality types in healthcare communication. Nursing Standard. doi: 10.7748/ns.2020.e11509

Published online: 16 June 2020

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