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Tamalunas, Alexander; Lenau, Philipp; Stadelmeier, Leo Federico; Mumm, Jan-Niclas; Vilsmaier, Theresa; Höhn, Henrik; Mumm, Maja-Lena; Waidelich, Raphaela; Casuscelli, Jozefina; Magistro, Giuseppe; Buchner, Alexander; Kolben, Thomas; Stief, Christian; Hennenberg, Martin (2022): Gender Bias in Urology: How Do Patients Really Choose Their Urologist? Patient Preference and Adherence. pp. 3001-3013. ISSN 1177-889X

[thumbnail of PPA-384967-gender-bias-in-urology--how-do-patients-really-choose-their-.pdf] Published Article

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Purpose: The present study aimed to investigate the influence of patients’ and urologists’ gender when choosing a urologist. With rising population diversity through immigration and generational differences, patient-centered healthcare has recently moved to the focus of European healthcare systems. As healthcare in urology often concentrates on sensitive topics, and often involves gender-specific diseases, research on the influence of gender on decision-making processes is of high importance. Understanding influence of gender on patients’ choices in real life would provide patients, and physicians alike, with the means to provide better resources to achieve greater satisfaction from visits to a urologist.

Patients and Methods: A questionnaire was prepared, and patients at our tertiary referral center were given the opportunity to voluntarily participate in our survey. We collected questionnaires from 1,012 patients during their visits from June 2021 to October 2021.

Results: Patients were divided into groups according to their gender: male (n=763), female (n=246), and non-binary (n=3). Our patient cohort consisted of more men than women (75% vs. 24%), with only three patients identifying as non-binary. Irrespective of the patients’ own gender, patients preferred a male urologist when problems were considered embarrassing, limiting daily activities, or when worrisome. When problems were considered painful, all patients preferred a female urologist. When patients had had a previous positive experience with a female or male urologist, they preferred to be treated by a female or male urologist, respectively. Overall, 65% of patients stated a gender preference for at least one given situation, or consultation scenario.
Conclusions: As the majority of our patients stated a gender preference, urological departments should be considerate of potential patients’ preferences for urologist gender that may be based on the individual patient's history, taking a comprehensive approach to fulfill the patients’ need for same gender urologists in educational hospitals and health care services.

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