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Gender differences in physicians' communicative skills and their influence on patient satisfaction in gynaecological outpatient consultations

Christen, R. N. and Alder, J. and Bitzer, J.. (2008) Gender differences in physicians' communicative skills and their influence on patient satisfaction in gynaecological outpatient consultations. Social science and medicine. - Oxford, Vol. 66, H. 7. pp. 1474-1483.

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Official URL: http://edoc.unibas.ch/dok/A6004593

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Abstract

As previous research has displayed, a physician's communication style is an essential factor predicting patient satisfaction and compliance. Furthermore, a good physician-patient relationship and high communication quality seem to be crucial elements fostering the activation of patients' self-healing powers. Due to their intimate nature, gynaecological health issues require specific adapted communicative skills. Several studies in primary care reveal gender differences in physicians' communication style. However, controversial findings have been reported in the field of obstetrics and gynaecology. The aim of the present study was to determine whether the expected gender differences in gynaecologists' communicative skills affect patient satisfaction and compliance. We analysed 196 videotapes of 30 real-life and 166 simulated (standardised) patient consultations in four different gynaecological outpatient settings with 13 male and 36 female gynaecologists from the University Hospital of Basel, Switzerland. Communicative skills were analysed by independent raters with the Revised Maastricht History-Taking and Advice Checklist (MAAS-R). All patients assessed their satisfaction after the consultation using the patient satisfaction questionnaire. Patients were more satisfied with female gynaecologists regarding the relationship and the consultation process, whereas the expected compliance was not related to physician gender. However, regression analyses demonstrated that it is not the gender of the physician but gender-related specific communicative skills -- mainly patient-centred communication -- that seem to be the crucial factor influencing patient satisfaction and likewise compliance. Hence, further research should be carried out on how these skills could be improved through specific training.
Faculties and Departments:03 Faculty of Medicine > Bereich Spezialfächer (Klinik) > Gynäkologie und Geburtshilfe > Gynäkologie (Heinzelmann)
03 Faculty of Medicine > Departement Klinische Forschung > Bereich Spezialfächer (Klinik) > Gynäkologie und Geburtshilfe > Gynäkologie (Heinzelmann)
UniBasel Contributors:Alder, Judith
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Bibsysno:Link to catalogue
Publisher:Pergamon Press
ISSN:0037-7856
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
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Last Modified:08 Nov 2012 16:22
Deposited On:08 Nov 2012 16:09

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