Physician and patient gender concordance and the delivery of comprehensive clinical preventive services

Sue Flocke, Valerie Gilchrist

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

68 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Understanding the role of patient- and physician-gender on delivery of preventive services has important implications for identifying strategies to increase preventive service delivery. We attempt to overcome methodological limitations of previous studies in examining the association of the patient-physician gender interaction on the delivery of preventive screening, counseling, and immunization services. Methods: In this cross-sectional study, research nurses directly observed 3256 consecutive adult patient visits to 138 family physicians. Delivery of gender neutral US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommended screening, health behavior counseling, and immunization services was assessed by direct observation and medical record review. Multilevel regression analyses were used to test the interaction effect of physician and patient gender with preventive service delivery, controlling for patient age, insurance type, number of office visits in the past 2 years and physician age. Results: The interaction effect of physician and patient gender was not significantly associated with delivery of gender neutral screening, counseling, or immunizations. Patients of female physicians were more up-to-date on counseling services (P < 0.01) and immunizations (P < 0.05) than patients of male physicians. Male patients, independent of physician gender, were more up-to-date on counseling and immunizations (P < 0.01). Conclusions: Physician-patient gender concordance is not associated with delivery of more preventive services. Rather, female physicians provide more counseling and immunization services to all of their patients. Previous research showing higher rates of gender-specific screening achieved by women physicians may have been an indication of an overall greater prevention orientation among women physicians rather than a specific benefit of gender concordance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)486-492
Number of pages7
JournalMedical care
Volume43
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2005
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

physician
Physicians
gender
Counseling
Immunization
counseling
Women Physicians
interaction
Multilevel Analysis
Office Visits
Physician's Role
family physician
Health Behavior
Family Physicians
Advisory Committees
Insurance
Research
health behavior
Medical Records
cross-sectional study

Keywords

  • Physician gender
  • Preventive service delivery
  • Primary care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health(social science)
  • Health Professions(all)

Cite this

Physician and patient gender concordance and the delivery of comprehensive clinical preventive services. / Flocke, Sue; Gilchrist, Valerie.

In: Medical care, Vol. 43, No. 5, 01.05.2005, p. 486-492.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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