• Elke Dr Longin
Public management in the Danish health care system is committed to the national policy objectives. These national objectives include (among other things) the active involvement of patients in their own treatment and the improvement of effectiveness of the health care system by shortening the duration of treatment.

The cloth of the staff in the hospital sections in the Regional Hospital of North Jutland is mostly white. On the other hand, it is known that colors are associated with positive or negative feelings. Children sometimes even develop a “hospital fright” in connection with visits in the hospital. Here merely the white dress of hospital employees can cause fear and panic in children. In this case these children are very difficult to examine. These difficulties do not only affect the diagnostic process but can also lengthen and worsen the treatment.

On this background I examined the following problem statement in the present master thesis:

Do children and their parents have specific emotional associations with different colors of pediatricians’ clothes in the hospital?

A significant correlation between colors and emotions would suggest that an adapted choice of color of clothes could help to reduce negative emotions (anxiety and stress) in children in connection with hospitalization. Such a choice would have a positive effect on the whole process of treatment and would meet the specific needs of this patient group.
Changing colors by involving patients to increase effectiveness would be a perfect example of leadership according to the national objectives.

In a cross-sectional study and semi structured interview we examined a total of 104 patients and their parents (118). The study was conducted between February and July 2020 at the Children's Department in Hjørring.

The parents and children were presented in randomized order 2 drawings showing a pediatrician and aside a happy child on drawing 1 and a sad child on drawing 2 respectively. Additionally, they were given doctors’ overalls of 7 different colors from which they were asked to choose the one which in their opinion suited best to the respective (happy child/sad child) situation.

Moreover, a semi-structured interview was conducted with the parents, where they were asked for their opinion about the relevance of colored clothing of pediatricians and whether a colored doctors' overall will have influence in their opinion about the doctor’s competence.

Statistical analysis: The 0 hypothesis was that the choice of colors is by random, i.e. that all participants will choose each color with the same probability. From this we calculated expectation values, standard deviations and confidence intervals. Due to multiple testing we adapted by Bonferroni correction for the significance level α=0,05 the p-level to p=0,0024. Last not least we presented a color popularity ranking of the color choice in the individual groups.

This present scientific study has shown that there are significant popular and unpopular colors for children and their parents in the happy and sad child situation. The significant popular color in all tested groups is light blue while the significant unpopular color in all tested groups is red, whereas white doctors’ overalls perform under average in popularity.

Thus, the results of the study support me in my endeavors to improve patient satisfaction and medical treatment by colored clothing to the staff of my department. At the same time this study is an example for improvement of quality and efficiency in the health care system by patient involvement.

The results strongly suggest that the clothing colors currently provided by the hospital does not fully meet the needs of the children and their parents.

It is understood that children feeling more comfortable are much easier and better to collaborate with and without a doubt a good collaboration with children and their parents is of high importance for pediatricians for the whole examination and treatment process.

Although colored clothing will arise costs in acquisition and laundry, these costs are much lower than the consequences of an inappropriate or incorrect examination of children, leading to a potential delay and a potential worsening of treatment. It is obvious that errors in treatment can result in very high costs for the hospital.

This study provides evidence that a color change in clothing at pediatric sections will significantly improve collaboration and thereby enhance the quality and effectiveness of the pediatric unit.
Udgivelsesdato12 aug. 2020
Antal sider47
ID: 338363592