University of Worcester Worcester Research and Publications

Care home uniforms: exploring stakeholders’ views on clothing options for staff

Bray, Jennifer ORCID:, Brooker, Dawn ORCID:, Frost, Faith and Mumford, S. (2022) Care home uniforms: exploring stakeholders’ views on clothing options for staff. Nursing Older People. ISSN Print: 1472-0795 Online: 2047-8941

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Background: Views in the care home community are divided regarding whether or not staff should wear a uniform. There is little research on the topic and the views of care home residents and their relatives are rarely sought.

Aim: To capture the views of staff, residents, relatives and visiting professionals in two care homes on the use of uniforms.

Methods: This small-scale exploratory study used photographs showing three clothing options: a formal option, a polo shirt option and an ‘own clothes’ option. Each option was modelled in two different poses, one ‘approachable’ and the other ‘unapproachable’. Staff, relatives, the wider care home team and visiting professionals expressed their preferences by replying to a short survey. Residents, all of whom had dementia, expressed their preferences through a table-top activity.

Findings Overall: the formal clothing option was preferred for formal care activities and the ‘own clothes’ option was preferred for social activities. The polo shirt option often obtained the second-highest number of preferences. The photographs featuring the ‘unapproachable’ pose were rarely selected.

Conclusion: The approachability of staff is just as important as the clothes they wear. An alternative to formal uniforms could be for staff to wear polo shirts, possibly as an interim measure to explore the effects of changing the care home’s staff uniform policy.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Discrete Keywords: care homes, clinical, communication, dementia, neurology, nurse-patient relations, nursing homes, older people, professional, professional issues, uniforms
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
R Medicine > RT Nursing
Divisions: College of Health, Life and Environmental Sciences > School of Allied Health and Community
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Depositing User: Jennifer Bray
Date Deposited: 07 Dec 2021 10:51
Last Modified: 13 Apr 2022 11:31

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