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Revista médica de Chile

Print version ISSN 0034-9887

Abstract

LOZIC, Stefan et al. The impact of the orthopedic surgeons' attire on patient preferences. Rev. méd. Chile [online]. 2017, vol.145, n.8, pp.987-995. ISSN 0034-9887.  http://dx.doi.org/10.4067/s0034-98872017000800987.

Background:

The formal appearance of health care professionals may influence their trustworthiness.

Aim:

To determine the effect of the orthopedic surgeon's attire on patients' perceptions of credibility and reliability of professionals.

Material and Methods:

In a cross-sectional design, 351 patients (mean age 43 ± 17 years, 62% males) from the Department of Orthopedics and Traumatology of a Chilean regional hospital in southem of Chile were chosen to complete a questionnaire of attire preferences, in which five photographs with male and female orthopedic surgeons appeared (executive, formal attire, informal attire, scrubs and casual clothing). The influence of attire in the perception of physicians' trustworthiness to resolve medical situations was analyzed.

Results:

Forty four percent of patients had no physician gender predilection (p = 0.32). Forty three percent of male and 38% of female patients preferred the use of formal attire. In situations of credibility or confidence, all patients chose mostly the use of white coats with formal attire by professionals. The probability of choosing an orthopedic surgeon with a formal attire was significantly higher among patients who considered the attire and appearance of the professional to be very important (Odds ratio = 3.74; p < 0.01).

Conclusions:

Patients prefer orthopedic surgeons wearing white coats and formal attire, which improves credibility of these professionals to correctly solve medical situations.

Keywords : Clothing; Orthopedic Surgeons; Patient Preference; Physicians-Patient Relations.

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