Demystifying Medicine Video

Attachment Style Series Part 2: Should Doctors Know Their Patients’ Attachment Style? What are attachment styles and how do they impact our relationships? In this two-part video series, we will outline what attachment theory is and how it plays a major role in doctor-patient relationships. Attachment styles impact the level of trust patients have with their physicians along with other behaviours such as the need for autonomy in medical care, compliance to treatment, worry and anxiety about illness and much more. Such behaviours adversely impact the health outcomes of the patients. In this video, we outline how each attachment style translates in a medical setting, and how health care professionals can tailor their approach to treating each patient based on their attachment style.

Part 1 - Introduction to Attachment Theory:

[Please complete our feedback form]

Author Details


  • Arnold, C. (n.d.). How do you treat someone who doesn’t accept they’re ill? BBC Future.
  • Badger, J. M. (1994). Calming the anxious patient. The American journal of nursing, 94(5), 46-50. Bithas, C., & Harky, A. (2020). Should doctors know their patients’ attachment style? A psychological perspective and its impact on cardiac surgery outcomes. In Brazilian Journal of Cardiovascular Surgery (Vol. 35, Issue 1, pp. 100–108). Sociedade Brasileira de Cirurgia Cardiovascular.
  • Cassedy, H. F., Enander, R. A., Robinson, R. C., Evans, H. M., Frank, B., Tucker, C., Miltenberger, P. D., Pitts, S., & Stringer, C. A. (2015). Attachment Theory as a Model of Doctor-Patient Interaction. Journal of Applied Biobehavioral Research, 20(4), 151–178.
  • What to do when patients do not follow the doctor’s advice: Dealing with non-adherence. (n.d.). CMPA.
  • Frederiksen, H. B., Kragstrup, J., & Dehlholm-Lambertsen, B. (2010). Attachment in the doctorpatient relationship in general practice: A qualitative study. Scandinavian Journal of Primary Health Care, 28(3), 185–190.
  • Maunder, R. G., Panzer, A., Viljoen, M., Owen, J., Human, S., & Hunter, J. J. (2006). Physicians’ difficulty with emergency department patients is related to patients’ attachment style. Social Science and Medicine, 63(2), 552–562.

Accessibility for Ontarians With Disabilities Act (AODA)


The Faculty of Health Sciences is committed to providing a website that is accessible to the widest possible audience. If there is an accessibility issue with this website, please contact us at