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Does Perceived Empathy Impact the Role of Gender Bias in Physician Choice for Women's Health?

Dunsmore, Victoria and Steele, Jenessa and Lee, Nicholas A. and Hastings, Dr. Sarah L. and Aspelmeier, Jeffery (2018) Does Perceived Empathy Impact the Role of Gender Bias in Physician Choice for Women's Health? Masters thesis, Radford University.

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To ease their patients’ discomfort, doctors must spend time building a positive relationship with their patients (Kim, Kaplowitz, & Johnston, 2004). Ensuring comfort can be done in a multitude of ways, some of which are patient-physician gender concordance or patient-perceived empathy (Zuckerman, Nvizedeh, Feldman, McCalla, & Minkoff, 2002; Johnson, Schnatz, Kelsey, & Ohannessian, 2005). Little research has investigated how these two important factors work together when a prospective patient is choosing a gynecologist. The current study bridges the gap between gender concordance and patient-perceived empathy in an individual’s decision-making by using a repeated measure, between-subjects methodology. Researchers manipulated hypothetical gynecologists’ profiles using past patient reviews to express high or low empathy and listing the gender of the physician as either male or female. Participants rated each physician on overall likelihood to choose each presented physician. A main effect for gender was found. Specifically, hypothetical female gynecologists were rated higher in likelihood of choice from participants overall. However, when a female physician with low empathy was paired with a male physician with high empathy, the male was rated higher in likelihood of choice from the participant. Patient-perceived empathy and patient-physician gender concordance interacted to the effect that participants rated the same physician significantly differently. These ratings were dependent on who each physician was being compared to though. This study built more support for how prospective patients choose their gynecologists, and what factors are more important in their decision-making.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Depositing User: Victoria Dunsmore
Date Deposited: 29 Jun 2018 16:56
Last Modified: 06 Jun 2019 19:15

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