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Patient perfectionism and clinician impression formation during an initial interview

Hewitt, P. L., Chen, C., Smith, Martin M. ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-4754-3032, Zhang, L., Habke, M., Flett, G. L. and Mikail, S. F. (2020) Patient perfectionism and clinician impression formation during an initial interview. Psychology and Psychotherapy: Theory, research and practice.

Hewitt.Chen.Smith.Zhang.Habke.Flett.Mikail (in press) (002).pdf - Accepted Version

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Objectives: The negative impact of pre-treatment patient perfectionism on therapeutic alliance and outcomes has been well-documented. However, there is much to learn about how patient perfectionism impacts the development of the therapeutic alliance. Our study addressed this by examining the extent to which trait and self-presentational components of perfectionism influence clinician’s perceptions of patients during an initial interview. Design: We recruited 90 treatment-seeking adults (aged 19-64, Mage=36.2; 40 men) from outpatient mental health clinics. Each patient had a one-on-one, semi-structured interview with a clinician that lasted 50 minutes. Method: Patients completed self-report measures assessing trait perfectionism, perfectionistic self-presentation, and symptom distress before the interview. Patients were then invited to discuss reasons for seeking treatment and to reflect on the two most challenging situations in their lives in which they had not coped well. Following the interview, clinicians indicated their overall impressions of patients by responding to three self-report questions and rated patients’ distress and hostility via nine adjectives. Results: After controlling for patients’ symptom distress, other-oriented perfectionism and nondisplay of imperfection had small positive relationships with clinician-rated hostility; self-oriented perfectionism, socially prescribed perfectionism and non-disclosure of imperfection had small-to-moderate negative relationships with clinician impressions. Additionally, path analysis revealed other-oriented perfectionism and non-display of imperfection indirectly predicted less favourable clinician impressions through clinician-rated hostility. Conclusions: Findings highlight the importance of evaluating and addressing trait and self-presentation components of perfectionism early in the therapeutic process.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: "This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: which has been published in final form at https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/papt.12266 This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving."
Status: Published
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/papt.12266
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology > BF698-698.9 Personality
School/Department: School of Science, Technology and Health
URI: https://ray.yorksj.ac.uk/id/eprint/4212

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