Bare Below the Elbows: A comparative study of a tertiary and district general hospital.
Ir Med J. 2013 Oct;106(9):272-5
Authors: Collins AM, Connaughton J, Ridgway PF
A 'Bare Below the Elbows' (BBTE) dress code policy has been introduced by the majority of NHS trusts in the UK. The aim of this Irish study was to evaluate the impact of an educational intervention on perception of medical attire. The study was carried out in two centres: a tertiary referral centre (Beaumont Hospital) and a district hospital (MRH, Portlaoise). Two questionnaires, incorporating photographic evaluation of appropriate attire for consultants and junior doctors, were completed pre and post BBTE education. One hundred and five patients participated. Analysis pre BBTE education indicated patients considered formal attire and white coats most appropriate for consultants and junior doctors respectively. Post-intervention analysis revealed a significant reduction in the popularity of both (p <0.001), with scrubs and smart casual attire gaining significant support in both cohorts (p <0.001). Our findings demonstrated that patient opinion on medical attire is malleable. The support of such a policy may be achieved if patients are informed that the aim is to reduce the spread of healthcare-associated infections.
PMID: 24416849 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]