Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Survey: Most Patients Want To Shake Hands With Their Physicians

Date:
June 12, 2007
Source:
JAMA and Archives Journals
Summary:
Most patients want physicians to shake their hands when they first meet, and about half want their first names used in greetings, according to a report in the June 11 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

"The first few moments of a medical encounter are critical to establishing rapport, making the patient feel comfortable and setting the tone of the interview," the authors write as background information in the article.
Credit: iStockphoto/Kelly Talele

Most patients want physicians to shake their hands when they first meet, and about half want their first names used in greetings, according to a report in the June 11 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

"The first few moments of a medical encounter are critical to establishing rapport, making the patient feel comfortable and setting the tone of the interview," the authors write as background information in the article.

Gregory Makoul, Ph.D., and colleagues at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, surveyed 415 adults in the United States between 2004 and 2005 regarding patient expectations and preferences for greetings by physicians. The authors also analyzed videotapes of 123 new patient visits in the offices of 19 different physicians in Chicago and Burlington, Vt.

The survey found that, among patients:

  • 78.1 percent wanted physicians to shake their hands, while 18.1 percent did not
  • 50.4 percent wanted their first names used during greetings, 17.3 percent preferred their last name and 23.6 percent favored the physician using both first and last names
  • 56.4 percent wanted physicians to introduce themselves using first and last names, 32.5 percent expected physicians to use their last name, and 7.2 percent would like physicians to use their first name only

In the videotaped encounters, physicians and patients shook hands 82.9 percent of the time. In 62 (50.4 percent) of the visits, physicians did not mention patients' names at all, and in 48 (39 percent) of the cases patients' names were not mentioned by physicians or patients. Physicians used their first and last names when introducing themselves 58.5 percent of the time, and did not introduce themselves at all in 14 visits (11.4 percent).

"Physicians should be encouraged to shake hands with patients but remain sensitive to nonverbal cues that might indicate whether patients are open to this behavior," the authors conclude. "Given the diversity of opinion regarding the use of names, coupled with national patient safety recommendations concerning patient identification, we suggest that physicians initially use patients' first and last names and introduce themselves using their own first and last names."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by JAMA and Archives Journals. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

JAMA and Archives Journals. "Survey: Most Patients Want To Shake Hands With Their Physicians." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 June 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/06/070611164246.htm>.
JAMA and Archives Journals. (2007, June 12). Survey: Most Patients Want To Shake Hands With Their Physicians. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 16, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/06/070611164246.htm
JAMA and Archives Journals. "Survey: Most Patients Want To Shake Hands With Their Physicians." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/06/070611164246.htm (accessed April 16, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A new study conducted by researchers at Northwestern and Harvard suggests even casual marijuana use can alter your brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Outbreak Now Linked To 121 Deaths

Ebola Outbreak Now Linked To 121 Deaths

Newsy (Apr. 15, 2014) The ebola virus outbreak in West Africa is now linked to 121 deaths. Health officials fear the virus will continue to spread in urban areas. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Cognitive Function: Is It All Downhill From Age 24?

Cognitive Function: Is It All Downhill From Age 24?

Newsy (Apr. 15, 2014) A new study out of Canada says cognitive motor performance begins deteriorating around age 24. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Mt. Everest Helped Scientists Research Diabetes

How Mt. Everest Helped Scientists Research Diabetes

Newsy (Apr. 15, 2014) British researchers were able to use Mount Everest's low altitudes to study insulin resistance. They hope to find ways to treat diabetes. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins