Section 50
Chapter 49,872

Patient attitudes toward emergency physician attire

Li, S.F.; Haber, M.

Journal of Emergency Medicine 29(1): 1-3


ISSN/ISBN: 0736-4679
PMID: 15960999
DOI: 10.1016/j.jemermed.2004.12.014
Accession: 049871711

Previous studies have suggested that Emergency Department (ED) patient satisfaction is unaffected by physician attire. We conducted a before-and-after trial to test this hypothesis. A convenience sample of ED patients was surveyed during a 2-week period. In the first week, emergency physicians wore white coats and formal attire. In the second week, the same physicians wore scrubs. Patients were asked to indicate on a 100-mm visual analog scale (VAS) their ratings of physician appearance, satisfaction, and professionalism. The primary outcome was the difference in VAS scores between the two dress styles. There were 111 patients surveyed. There were no significant differences between patients' evaluation of appearance (Delta=-.68 mm VAS, 95% confidence interval [CI] -5.5 to 4.1), satisfaction (Delta=.83 mm VAS, 95% CI -3.0 to 4.6), or professionalism (Delta=-.46 mm VAS, 95% CI -3.6 to 2.6) between the two dress styles. Emergency physician attire does not affect patient satisfaction.

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