The preferred clothing style in psychiatrists and its effect on the patient-physician relationship

Ozer U., Ceri V., Ozgen G., Turan B.

ANADOLU PSIKIYATRI DERGISI-ANATOLIAN JOURNAL OF PSYCHIATRY, vol.17, no.1, pp.51-55, 2016 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 17 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2016
  • Doi Number: 10.5455/apd.180133
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, TR DİZİN (ULAKBİM)
  • Page Numbers: pp.51-55
  • Keywords: psychiatry, physician clothing, white coat, WEAR WHITE COATS, DESCRIPTIVE SURVEY, DOCTORS ATTIRE, PATIENTS VIEWS, ADDRESS, DRESS
  • Karadeniz Technical University Affiliated: No


Objective: First impression carries significance in interpersonal relations. Establishing a relationship also forms the basis of the treatment process which will be conducted by the patient and the physician together. Physicians' clothing has been suggested to create major differences in physician-patient relationship. In this study, it was aimed to investigate the clothing style of psychiatrists preferred by psychiatrists and psychiatric patients and their opinion about its possible effects on physician-patient relationship. Methods: Consecutive 150 patients who applied to psychiatry outpatient clinic and 100 psychiatrists were included in the study. At first, sociodemographic data form was completed. Then, the pictures of different clothing styles were shown to participants and a questionnaire about its possible effects on physician-patient relationship was applied. Results: Mean age of the patients was 39.3 +/- 2.8 (range 19-79 years), 73 (48.7%) patients were female, 77 (51.3%) patients were male. Diagnoses of 40 (26.7%) patients were psychotic disorders, 52 (34.7%) were affective disorders, 31 (20.7%) were anxiety disorders and 27 (18.0%) patients were diagnosed with other disorders. Mean age of the psychiatrists was 32.4 +/- 8.2 (range 24-59 years), 52 (52.0%) psychiatrists were female, 48 (48.0%) psychiatrists were male. Mean duration of practicing medicine was 7.7 +/- 8.2 years, and mean duration of practicing psychiatry was 6.2 +/- 7.2 years. The number of psychiatry residents was 68 (68.0%), and the number of psychiatrists was 32 (32.0%). It was found that psychiatrists attached more importance to physician's clothing compared to patient group (p<0.01). Patients' first choice was white coat for both male (54.7% n=82) and female (50.0% n=75) psychiatrists. While psychiatrists' first choice was casual wear (56.0% n=56) for male psychiatrists and semi-formal wear (52.0%, n=52) for female psychiatrists. Only five (5.0%) psychiatrists preferred white coat for both male and female psychiatrists. Conclusion: Although psychiatric patients do not attach importance to psychiatrist's clothing style as psychiatrists, they prefer that psychiatrists wear white coats. Therefore wearing white coat may positively affect physician-patient relationship and may help the physician to create a good impression.