Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Patient Satisfaction / Physician Attire

From the Star-Ledger:

Over three months, 20 physicians, all obstetrician/gynecologists, were randomly assigned to dress in either business attire, casual clothing or a scrub suit each week. The physicians saw more than 1,100 new patients.

After the first visit, the patients were asked to fill out a patient satisfaction survey, which assessed their comfort with the physician as well as their perception of the physician's competency and professionalism.

Patients were not asked about attire.

"We were interested in how women, who were unaware that clothing was being evaluated, would respond to physicians in various attire," the researchers said in the study.

The study, published in the February issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology, concluded patients were equally satisfied with physicians, regardless of the clothes the physicians wore. All followed the Cooper dress code and everyone was neat and clean.

"We asked people about how they felt about the doctor and dress did not seem to make any difference," Fischer said.

The study concluded, "Al though patients may express a predilection for specific items of clothing or personal appearance, it is likely that other factors, such as medical knowledge, personal demeanor, and interpersonal skills play a much more important role in patient satisfaction."


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