The patient-physician therapeutic relationship begins before the two parties’ verbal communication. For example, the patient may form an attitude from the non-verbal communication cues, such as the practice’s physical environment, the processes and the administration staff. Colors, paintings and works of art, lighting, certificates, are features that may affect the patient during his waiting time and, probably, his relationship with the physician. This research wanted to examine patients’ therapeutic experience, and, specifically, their perceptions on the ambient environment of physicians’ waiting areas and practices and their relationship with trust and proximity to the physician. To this end, we conducted a quantitative research with 95 respondents of the psychiatric health sector. Data were analyzed through advanced statistics, using the SPSS 23 statistical package. Our findings imply that there is a relationship between the physician practice’s interior decoration and the patients’ trust and proximity. Specifically, cluster analysis grouped data in three clusters that we called as ‘Leeries’, ‘Aloofs’ and ‘Intimates’, showing variability on the variables patient’s trust and proximity to physician as well as, on variables pertaining to practice’ ambient environment. The paper discusses the findings and implications as well as the limitations and propositions for future research.
Physician practice characteristics Patients’ therapeutic experience Practice interior design Patient’s trust and proximity to the physician
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