Pharmacist attire and its impact on patient preference
Objective: To determine the influence of demographics on patient preferences for community pharmacist attire.
Methods: A 10-item questionnaire was developed and administered to patients visiting a chain pharmacy or an independent pharmacy in the Birmingham, Alabama metropolitan area. Mann–Whitney was used to examine if statistical differences existed in chain versus independent pharmacy patient’s selections based on pharmacist attire.
Results: A statistically significant difference in patient preference for pharmacist attire between the settings in regards to which pharmacist patients felt was more approachable was observed; 51.2% of chain pharmacy respondents compared to 30% of independent pharmacy respondents identified the pharmacist pair with business formal attire and white coat as more approachable. Differences in education was also apparent with 70% of respondents in the independent pharmacy setting reporting having a Bachelor’s degree or higher compared to 45% of respondents in the chain pharmacy setting.
Conclusion: With the exception of approachability, patients indicated preference for pharmacist with the white coat regardless of community setting. Given the importance of patient-pharmacist communication for building successful patient-pharmacist relationships, if patients do not perceive the pharmacists as approachable, communication and subsequent development of said relationships may not occur regardless of perceived knowledge and competency.
Keywords: Clothing. Professional-Patient Relations. Pharmacists. United States.
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