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Title: Do patients prefer a male or female urologist?
Author: Wynn, Jess
Johns-Putra, Lydia
Issue Date: 2019
Conference Name: Ballarat Health Services 2019 Annual Research Symposium
Conference Date: 28 November
Conference Place: Ballarat
Abstract: Background In Australia, only 10-15% of urologists are female. This workforce discrepancy may have an effect on patient choices and outcomes. Objectives/Aims The purpose of this study is to investigate patient preferences for the gender of their treating urologist and associated underlying reasons in a regional Australian setting. Method 400 structured face-to-face interviews were conducted in urology outpatient clinics. Patient gender, age, presenting complaint and whether patients considered their condition to be embarrassing or not were recorded. These were correlated with patient preferences for urologist gender in four different scenarios: consultation; physical examination; office-based procedure; and surgery. Patients with a gender preference received a follow-up telephone interview. Results There were 329 (82.3%) male patients and 71 (17.7%) female patients interviewed. 345 (86.3%) patients considered their condition embarrassing. The number of patients with a gender preference were 63 (15.7%) for consultation, 108 (27.0%) for physical examination, 89 (22.3%) for office-based procedure and 29 (7.0%) for surgery. For all scenarios, patients who considered their condition embarrassing were more likely to have a preference and, for all scenarios except surgery, female patients were more likely to have a preference. Preferences were gender-concordant in 50/63 (79.4 %) patients for consultation, 95/108 (88.0%) for physical examination, 78/89 (87.6%) for office-based procedure and 21/29 (72.4 %) for surgery. For all scenarios except surgery, female patients were more likely to have a gender-concordant preference. Patients were more likely to change their mind if they saw a urologist of opposite gender to their preference and had a positive experience. Implications/Outcomes for Planned Research Project Female patients and those with a perceived embarrassing condition were more likely to have a gender preference, with most preferences being gender-concordant. Preferences were more likely in the scenarios of physical examination and office-based procedure and less so for surgery. Patients that express a gender preference are a small and important subset of patients. This study is relevant to other specialties that deal with embarrassing, gender-specific conditions in medicine. Understanding reasons for gender preference in this subset of patients will assist in patient education and reduce barriers to healthcare access, which will in turn improve healthcare provision
Internal ID Number: 01426
Type: Conference
Appears in Collections:Research Output

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