Effects of gender on patient's satisfaction with physician care and communication skills in a tertiary hospital in Nigeria
Patient satisfaction is an important indicator of quality of care. Satisfied patients tend to be more adherent to medical recommendations and are less likely to disenroll from healthcare plans. The study set out to empirically investigate the influence of patient and physician gender on patient’s satisfaction with the clinical care and physician’s communication skills. The study is a cross sectional survey of 300 patient-physician pairs at 5 adult outpatient clinics of a tertiary hospital in Nigeria. Satisfaction to the clinical care received and communication skills of the physician were assessed by the patients using the adapted Patients Satisfaction Questionnaire Form 18 (PSF-18). Three hundred patient-physician pairs were examined, and they made up of 300 patients and 150 physicians. Two hundred and eleven (70.3%) and 249 (83%) respondents were satisfied with the clinical care and physician’s communication skills respectively. Respondents attended to by female physicians were more likely to be satisfied with the clinical care [female 72.8% vs male 62.8%, p < 0.01] and communication skills [female 88.8% vs male 77%, p < 0.01] than those attended to by male physicians. Respondent’s gender had no influence on both the clinical care [male 49.7% vs female 50.3%, p - 0.90] and physician’s communication skills [male 49.0% vs female 51.0%, p - 0.44]. Physician’s gender [Odd Ratio (OR), 2.4] and cadre (OR, 3.8) independently predict patient’s satisfaction to the clinical care received, while only physician’s gender (OR, 1.7) predicts patient’s satisfaction to communication skills. This study showed that physician’s gender influenced patient’s satisfaction to both the clinical care and physician’s communication skills during medical consultation.
Keywords: Communication, Clinical care, Gender, Physician, Satisfaction.