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Health Care Women Int. 2000 Mar;21(2):91-104.

Treatment decision making in mature adults: gender differences.

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  • 1Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.


Studies have shown that women are less likely to receive several specific medical interventions, including organ transplantation, cardiac diagnostic studies, and coronary artery bypass surgery. This study investigates the hypothesis that this inequity may be explained by gender differences in treatment decisions made by older adults. A self-report questionnaire using hypothetical situations, treatment choices, and influencing factors was designed based on literature review and interviews with key informants. The questionnaire was administered to 250 nonpatient adults over the age of 50 in urban and rural settings in Ontario, Canada. Results revealed no significant gender differences in hypothetical treatment decisions made by patients nor in the factors affecting those decisions. In the absence of evidence that patient choice accounts for gender differences in utilization rates, physicians need to carefully examine their assumptions about patient preference and gender in the provision of specific interventions to male and female patients.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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