White coat or not?
Environmental factors are recognised as important elements in the care of people with cognitive impairment. Among these factors, the appearance of the carers and more particularly their clothing was raised.


In order to evaluate the impact of the caregivers' street clothes on the residents of the Special Care Units (USS), the Korian Foundation in partnership with the Department of Psychology PavéA (Psychologie des Âges de la Vie et Adaptation) of the François Rabelais University of Tours conducted an original study called Street Clothes (STRECLO) in the Korian group's nursing homes. This observational research aimed to demonstrate that the improvement of the residents' relationships with other residents but also with the carers could be observed thanks to the wearing of street clothes by the carers.

The study was carried out on Korian homes located in Indre-et-Loire (37) for six months (from June to December 2017). The main objective was to film the residents of these establishments over a period of 6 months: caregivers wore uniforms and then street clothes for two consecutive three-month periods. Three outcome measures were observed :


  • the behaviour of the residents
  • the content of the conversations
  • proximal interactions between residents and caregivers 


The results of the study showed that when caregivers wore street clothes, we observed:

  • greater solicitation and less anxiety on the part of residents
  • content of conversations between residents and caregivers that included more personal information and less health information
  • more proximal interaction between caregivers and residents


To our knowledge, this is the first study that has examined the long-term effects on residents and professionals wearing street clothes. It demonstrated the potential benefit of not wearing a uniform on the quality of life of people in Special Care Units.

For example, the wearing of street clothes by caregivers could be integrated into care practice and represents a promising way of improving the quality of life of residents with cognitive impairment.

Objectives: To contribute to reflection on the potential effect of the wearing or non-wearing of the white coat by caregivers :
- What are the effects on communication of elderly people suffering from Alzheimer's disease in nursing homes?
- What is the caregivers' point of view on whether or not the white coat should be worn?

A study entitled STRECLO (Abbreviation of Street Clothes) was carried out on the initiative of the Korian Foundation for Ageing Well, in partnership with the laboratory Psychologie des Ages de la Vie et Adaptation of the François Rabelais University in Tours.

Carried out in the Alzheimer's units of three Korian homes located in Indre-et-Loire (37) for six months (from June to December 2017), the purpose of this study was to observe the impact of the caregivers' dress code (civilian clothes / physician's coat) on residents with neurocognitive disorders.

This is the first study comparing, over the medium term, the effects of wearing and non-wearing of white coats among caregivers.

The results show that the absence of the white coat reduces the "institutional" distance between residents and caregivers and leads residents to feel more "at home", with more personal than health-related conversations.

Université Rabelais Tours

The teams from the François Rabelais University, the Korian Foundation and the participating institutions gathered for the restitution of the results of the study on 15/05/2018 in Tours.