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Patient Educ Couns. 2010 Sep;80(3):315-20. doi: 10.1016/j.pec.2010.06.014. Epub 2010 Jul 17.

Gender bias in patients' perceptions of patient-centered behaviors.

Author information

  • 1Psychology Department, Northeastern University, Boston, MA 02115, USA. blanch.d@husky.neu.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

This research examines whether patient perceptions are equivalently associated with patient-centered behavior in male and female medical students, and tests the impact of a message emphasizing the importance of patient-centeredness on analogue patients' perceptions of male and female medical students' performance.

METHODS:

Sixty-one medical students interacting with standardized patients (SPs) were viewed by 384 analogue patients (APs). APs were randomly assigned to receive a message emphasizing the value of patient-centeredness or of technical competence, or a neutral message, and then evaluated the medical students' competence in the interactions. Students' patient-centeredness was measured using the Four Habits Coding Scheme and Roter Interaction Analysis System.

RESULTS:

APs in the neutral and technical competence conditions gave higher competence ratings to more patient-centered male students, but not to more patient-centered female students. However, APs who received the patient-centeredness message gave higher competence ratings to both male and female students who were higher in patient-centeredness.

CONCLUSION:

Making it clear that patient-centeredness is a dimension of physician competence eliminated a gender bias in evaluating performance.

PRACTICE IMPLICATIONS:

Because patient perceptions are often used in evaluations, gender biases must be understood and reduced so both male and female providers receive appropriate credit for their patient-centered behaviors.

Copyright (c) 2010 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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