Patients preference for doctors' gender in North Western, Nigeria
Background: Cultural and religious beliefs affect the way people perceive illness and therapeutic interventions. These also affect the ability of patients and doctors to communicate freely,
Objectives: To determine patients' preference for doctors' gender among patients attending the antenatal and gynaceology clinics in Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, Kano.
Methodology: This was a cross-sectional survey of 445 women attending the antenatal and gynaecology clinics of Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital. Informed consent was obtained from the patients. Interviewer-administered questionnaires were used to obtain information about socio-demographic characteristics, preference for doctor's gender and factors associated with these preferences. The data obtained was analysed using the Statistical Software for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 16,0.
Results: Out of the 445 patients, 424 responded completely making the response rate to be 95.3%. Majority of the patients. 275 (64.9%) were aged between 20 to 25 years, 344 (81%) of the women were of lslamic faith and in 245 (57.8%) religion was found to be the most important factor affecting gender preference. A total of 192 participants (45.3%) believe that the doctor's gender does not matter to them, while 184 (43.4%) prefer the female gender and only 48 (11,3%) prefer the male gender. These associations between age, marital status and religion and gender preference are statistically significant (p<0.005).
Conclusion: This study has shown that there is a strong preference of female patients for female doctors. Patients' age, mantal status and religion are very strong factors for the preference of female doctors.
Keywords: patient's preference, doctor's gender, North-Western Nigeria.
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