Physician attire in the intensive care unit in Japan influences visitors' perception of care☆,☆☆

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The objective of this study is to evaluate the impact of physician attire and behavior on perceptions of care by ICU visitors in Japan.

Materials and methods:

Visitors were surveyed including 117 at a community hospital and 106 at a university hospital. Demographic data (age, gender, relationship to patient, length of stay) were collected. A seven-point Likert scale (1 = strongly agree, 4 = neutral, 7 = strongly disagree) was used to judge physician attire (name tag, white coat, scrubs, short sleeve shirts, blue jeans, sneakers, clogs), behavior (addressing a patient, carrying a snack) and overall effect on perception of care.


There are no significant differences (p > 0.05) in demographics comparing the two ICUs, except for increased length of stay at the university ICU. Visitors scored the importance of a name tag (median 2, Interquartile Range 1–2), white coat [3,1–4], addressing the patient by last name [2,1–3], wearing scrubs [3,2–4], sneakers [4,3–5], clogs [4,4–5], short sleeves (4,3.5–5), blue jeans [5,4–6], and carrying a snack [6,5–7]. Visitors scored “attire affects perceptions of care” as [3,2–4].


Physician attire in the ICU affects perceptions of care. Implementation of attire guidelines which require clothing that does not meet visitor preferences should be accompanied by education programs.

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