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The Doctor's New Clothes: Professional or Fashionable? | OMICS International | Abstract
ISSN: 2167-1079

Primary Healthcare: Open Access
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Research Article

The Doctor's New Clothes: Professional or Fashionable?

Chantal Hartmans1, Stefanie Heremans1, Marieke Lagrain1, Kristin Van Asch1 and Birgitte Schoenmakers2*

1Department of Public Health and Primary Care Academic Centre of General Practice, University of Leuven, Leuven, Belgium

2Academic Teaching Practice, Department of Public Health Academic Centre of General Practice, Leuven, Belgium

Corresponding Author:
Birgitte Schoenmakers
Department of Public Health Academic Centre of General Practice
University of Leuven, Kapucijnenvoer 33
block J, box 7001, Leuven, Belgium
Tel: +32495235639
E-mail: [email protected]

Received date: November 25, 2013; Accepted date: December 30, 2013; Published date: January 07, 2014

Citation: Hartmans C, Heremans S, Lagrain M, Asch KV, Schoenmakers B (2014) The Doctor’s New Clothes: Professional or Fashionable? Primary Health Care 3:145. doi:10.4172/2167-1079.1000145

Copyright: © 2014 Hartmans C, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


Objective: To investigate the influence of the GP’s attire on the confidence that patients have in their GP as a medical expert and on the patient’s comfort level (defined as ‘feel at ease’). Design: A cross-section study without control group. Methods: Participants (n=1506 ) completed a survey on the internet or in paper after seeing images of six models of three different age categories, each in five different clothing styles (leisure clothing, casual, semiformal, formal and professional). The following questions were asked for each model: “In which doctor do you have the most confidence as a medical expert?” and “With which doctor do you feel most at ease?”. Results: Patients trusted a female doctor and the older male doctor most when wearing professional clothing (white coat). The young and middle aged GP’s were preferred to wear semiformal attire. Patients were most at ease with a female GP wearing leisure clothing. They preferred the young and middle aged male GP to wear semiformal attire, while patients were most at ease with the older male GP wearing casual clothing. Conclusion: The GP’s attire has an influence on the patient’s confidence and comfort level. In general patients still mainly prefer a doctor in a professional outfit.