40% of patients couldn't remember whether their physicians wore a white coat

A study published in American Journal of Perinatology examined whether a physician not wearing a white coat during postpartum rounds affected patient-physician communication scores.

Researchers conducted a randomized, controlled trial of 178 postpartum women at a university hospital. Eighty-seven women were randomly assigned to having their postpartum physician team wear a white coat, while 91 women were assigned to a physician team not wearing a white coat.

Researchers found 40.4 percent of patients did not remember whether the physicians wore a white coat or not. There was also no difference in physician communication scores.

"Not wearing a white coat during postpartum rounds did not affect the patient-physician communication or patient satisfaction scores," study authors concluded.

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