Does wearing a necktie influence patient perceptions of emergency department care?

J Emerg Med. 1998 Jul-Aug;16(4):541-3. doi: 10.1016/s0736-4679(98)00036-5.


We conducted a prospective study of discharged emergency department (ED) patients to determine the effect of wearing a necktie by emergency physicians (EPs) had on patients' impression of their medical care. All male EPs were assigned randomly by dates to wear a necktie or no necktie, and the attire worn was otherwise similar in all respects. The study was conducted at a community teaching hospital with an Emergency Medicine residency and an annual census of 40,000. A total of 316 patients were surveyed. There were no statistically significant differences between patient groups in any of the five areas surveyed, including patient perception of physicians' appearance. Nearly 30% of patients incorrectly identified their doctor as wearing a necktie when no necktie was worn, and the perception of tie wearing was correlated with a positive impression of physician appearance. Wearing or not wearing a necktie did not significantly affect patients' impression of their physician or the care they received. However, patients seemingly preferred the appearance of physicians who were perceived to wear neckties.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Clothing*
  • Emergency Medicine*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Patients / psychology*
  • Prospective Studies