, Volume 26, Issue 5, pp 518-523
Date: 23 Dec 2010

A Video-Intervention to Improve Clinician Attitudes Toward Patients with Sickle Cell Disease: The Results of a Randomized Experiment

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Clinician attitudes toward patients are associated with variability in the quality of health care. Attitudes are typically considered difficult to change, and few interventions have attempted to do so. Negative attitudes toward adults with sickle cell disease have been identified as an important barrier to the receipt of appropriate pain management for this patient population.


To test the effect of a video-intervention designed to improve clinician attitudes toward adults with sickle cell disease.


An 8-minute video depicting a clinician expert and patients discussing challenges in seeking treatment for sickle cell pain.


A randomized post-test only control group design was used to assess the impact of the intervention on the attitudes of 276 nurses and housestaff working at a large, urban, academic medical center.


Attitudes toward adult sickle cell patients assessed using 5- and 6-point Likert-scale items. Exploratory factor analysis was used to identify underlying attitudinal domains and develop scales. Examples of the negative and positive attitudes assessed include clinician estimates of the percentage of SCD patients that exaggerate pain (negative) or make clinicians glad they went into medicine (positive).


Compared to the control group, the intervention group exhibited decreased negative attitudes (Difference in means = -8.9, 95%CI [-14.2, -3.6]; Cohen’s d = 0.41), decreased endorsement of certain patient behaviors as “concern-raising” (Difference in means = -7.8, 95%CI [-13.1, -2.5]; Cohen’s d = 0.36), and increased positive attitudes toward sickle cell patients (Difference in means = 6.6, 95% CI [0.6, 12.6]; Cohen’s d = 0.27).


Our results suggest that the attitudes of clinicians toward sickle cell patients may be improved through a short and relatively easy to implement intervention. Whether the attitudinal differences associated with our intervention are sustainable or are linked to clinical outcomes remains to be seen.