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J Adolesc Health Care. 1985 Nov;6(6):456-9.

Effect of physician dress style on patient-physician relationship.


This study evaluates the effect of physician dress and other variables (i.e., sex of physician and patient, age, and type and site of visit) on patient-physician rapport. Three hundred eighty-six teens filled out a questionnaire, at the end of an office visit, which evaluated their attitudes regarding their physician and their preference for physician dress. The physicians alternated between very informal, informal, formal-white coat, and formal-suit/dress styles. Dress style made no statistical difference in patients' attitudes toward their physician. When asked what they preferred their doctor to wear 43% responded "makes no difference," 26% said "white coat," 14% said "pants and shirt," 10% said "jeans and shirt," and 4% said "suit and tie." Female patients were significantly more comfortable (3.6 versus 3.3, p less than 0.01) with female physicians. Male patients did not show a preference for a same-sex physician.

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