Delgado Ana, Martinez-Cañavate Teresa, Frias José F, Rueda Trinidad, Garcia Visitación, Morata Javier Unidad Docente MF y C Granada, Avda Doctor Oloriz, 16 18012 Granada, Spain
1.-To know the preferences of patients on the gender of the physician when consulting for particular health problems.
2. To know the gender stereotypes that patients assign to physicians.
Design: Cross-sectional study Setting: Multi-centre study in five teaching health centres.
Subjects: Randomised sample of patients that consulted 10 female and 20 female physicians during three months (17 patients per physician), for A=5%, B=80%, to detect a difference of 12% between male and female physicians.
Measurements and Interventions:
Questionnaire adapted from Fennema (Family Medicine Dept., Wisconsin University, 1990) was administered by interviewers after the consultancy, following a previous pilot study. Preference and stereotype scales comprised 10 items, with five responses (neutral mid-point). Differences were analysed with x 2 with correction for continuity.
Results: Non-responders (33%) were replaced, and their age and sex did not bias the study results.230 Responders were 210 males (40.9%) and 304 women (59.1%). For "flux in penis/vagina" and "haemorrhoids" 50-60% of the patients preferred a physician of the same sex, with the remainder expressing no preference. The women preferred female physicians for family problems (23%) and depression (23%) The male physicians were more often perceived to be disorganised than were the females (24% vs. 5%), while the female physicians were more often described as humane (15% vs. 10%) (pConclusions:
Patients prefer physicians of the same gender for some health problems and not for others. Patients assign gender stereotypes to physicians. These findings will permit a better interpretation of doctor-patient relationships.