[Skip to Navigation]
April 1987

Does Dress Influence How Parents First Perceive House Staff Competence?

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Pediatrics, Misericordia Hospital, Edmonton, Alberta; and the Department of Pediatrics, University of Alberta, Edmonton.

Am J Dis Child. 1987;141(4):426-428. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1987.04460040084021

• A random sample of parents of children admitted to the pediatric inpatient services of a university teaching hospital was studied using sets of paired photographs of house staff physicians wearing one of three typical outfits to assess the relationship between house staff physician dress and parents' perceptions of competence. The results indicated that parents were twice as likely to attribute competence to the physician wearing formal dress compared with the physician wearing an operating room outfit and four times more likely compared with the physician wearing an intern uniform. The likelihood of making assumptions of competence was significantly reduced in parents with a university education and in parents who had never previously had a child hospitalized. The gender of the physician had no effect on perceptions of competence.

(AJDC 1987;141:426-428)

Add or change institution