A recently completed study examined the effect of clear and covered masks on communication in the surgeon-patient relationship?

In a clinical trial, patients rated surgeons wearing clear masks rather than standard covered masks,  significantly higher in providing understandable explanations, demonstrating empathy, and eliciting trust. Two-hundred randomized surgical patients participated. The researcher concluded that not seeing a surgeon’s face may have negative consequences for the surgeon-patient relationship.

The JAMA published research concluded this “randomized clinical trial demonstrated that patients prefer to see their surgeon’s face. Surgeons who wore clear masks were perceived by patients to be better communicators, have more empathy, and elicit greater trust. Because masks will remain part of the health care landscape for some time, deliberate attention to preserving communication within the surgeon-patient relationship is warranted.” You can find more information [here].


Citation: Kratzke IM, Rosenbaum ME, Cox C, Ollila DW, Kapadia MR. Effect of Clear vs Standard Covered Masks on Communication With Patients During Surgical Clinic Encounters: A Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA Surg. Published online March 11, 2021. doi:10.1001/jamasurg.2021.0836