Attitudes of health care providers and students towards tattooed people


Stuppy College of Nursing and Health Sciences, University of Texas at El Paso, El Paso, TX 79902, USA.


Attitudes of health care providers and medical and nursing students (n=513) towards tattooed adults and adolescents were examined. No respondent group had mean scores reflecting a positive attitude towards tattooed persons. Overall, physicians (MDs) and registered nurses (RNs) rated tattooed people less positively than did students. Womens’ attitudes were consistently less favourable than those of men, especially towards tattooed professional women. Attitudes towards tattooed adolescents were generally less positive than attitudes towards the adult groups. Research has found that negative attitudes impact patient care. This study suggests that tattooed persons, especially adolescents, may be at risk of being negatively perceived when they seek health care. Increased efforts are needed to assure that those with tattoos receive non-judgemental and sensitive care.