SDW news brief: Patient satisfaction scores increase when clinicians sit

Staff Development Weekly: Insight on Evidence-Based Practice in Education, March 16, 2012

Patients perceived that a clinician spent more time at their bedside and reported higher levels of satisfaction when clinicians sat down rather than stood during conversations, according to a study conducted by Jennifer Moran, RN, BSN, CNRN, clinical nurse educator at the University of Kansas Hospital. Moran studied Paul Arnold, MD, a practitioner whose patients consistently perceived him to be rushed and whose patient satisfaction scores were low, as he consulted his patients in both a standing and a sitting position. Patients believed Arnold spent as much as 15 minutes more at the bedside when sitting than when standing, even though he spent the same amount of time with patients in both instances.

Patients reported feeling as though they had the clinician's full attention when he was sitting, and noted that the clinician seemed more open and relaxed. Moran speculates that sitting has a calming effect, and plans to repeat the study with nurse practitioners rather than physicians. The study concluded that patient perceptions are significantly altered by small details such as sitting rather than standing.
Source: The Kansas City Nursing News

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