Journal of General Internal Medicine

, Volume 34, Issue 2, pp 182–183 | Cite as

Providers’ Demeanor Impacts Patient Perceptions of Visit Length

  • Lauren C. HoweEmail author
  • Emerson J. Hardebeck
  • Kari A. Leibowitz
  • Alia J. Crum
Concise Research Reports


Time matters for healthcare quality. Patients explicitly desire more time with providers and patient perceptions of visit length influence meaningful outcomes, including patient satisfaction and adherence intentions.1, 2 Given existing system-level barriers and competing demands (e.g., electronic health records, high patient volume), it may be challenging for providers to increase the objective amount of time they have with patients.3 However, research suggests that patient perceptions of time with the provider can outweigh actual visit length1, 2 and, fortuitously, that these perceptions are malleable.4

Little research has tested what providers can do to shape patients’ perceptions of the time providers spend with them. The current study tested whether provider demeanor, including the well-documented traits of warmth (e.g., attentiveness, care, and connection with patients) and competence (e.g., displays of knowledge, skill, and efficiency),5, 6influenced patient time...


physician behavior doctor-patient relationships patient-centered care patient engagement 



We would like to acknowledge Michelle Chang and Isaac Handley-Miner for their invaluable assistance with this project.


This research was supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Stanford IRB approved these procedures.

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they do not have a conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Society of General Internal Medicine 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lauren C. Howe
    • 1
    Email author
  • Emerson J. Hardebeck
    • 1
  • Kari A. Leibowitz
    • 1
  • Alia J. Crum
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Psychology Stanford UniversityStanfordUSA

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