Psychiatric patients: views on psychiatrists' dress and address

Nord J Psychiatry. 2006;60(4):270-4. doi: 10.1080/08039480600790085.


Dress styles and forms of address vary among psychiatrists according to personal preferences. Gledhill et al. (Br J Psychiatry 1997;171;228-32) asked the patients in a London psychiatric hospital about their views on their psychiatrists' dress and address. To survey the preferences of our patients and reproduce the study of Gledhill et al., we interviewed Norwegian psychiatric inpatients and outpatients to identify preferences for dress styles and terms of address. Our patients preferred fairly smart attire. Most patients wanted to be called by their first name; about half wanted to address their doctors by their first name and half by surname. Results were somewhat different from the London survey, but the conclusion is similar: paying more attention to the way psychiatrists interact and present themselves may facilitate the therapeutic alliance with their patients.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Attitude*
  • Clothing*
  • Communication*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations*
  • Male
  • Mental Disorders / psychology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Names*
  • Physician-Patient Relations*
  • Sex Factors
  • Social Perception*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires