Influence of sex of general practitioner on management of menorrhagia.
Coulter A., Peto V., Doll H.
BACKGROUND: There is an assumption that men and women general practitioners adopt different practice styles in the management of gynaecological disorders. However, there is little evidence to support this view. AIM: A study was undertaken to compare the practice styles of men and women general practitioners in the management of menorrhagia. METHOD: The study took place in 73 general practices in the Oxford Regional Health Authority area. A total of 348 patients who consulted 74 men general practitioners and 43 women general practitioners with a complaint of menorrhagia were recruited into the study and completed postal questionnaires nine and 18 months after entry into the study. Main outcome measures were men and women general practitioners' awareness of patients' treatment preferences, treatment received by patients, patients' involvement in treatment decisions and patients' satisfaction with treatment received. RESULTS: There were no statistically significant differences in treatment received by patients of men and women general practitioners. Fewer patients consulting women general practitioners were referred to a gynaecologist compared with patients consulting men general practitioners (56% versus 64%) and fewer underwent surgery (39% versus 47%). More patients consulting women general practitioners reported participation in treatment decisions (63% versus 53%) but more patients consulting men general practitioners were satisfied with the care they received (66% versus 55%). Again, these differences were not statistically significant. CONCLUSION: Although some indications of sex-associated differences in practice style were found in this study, the similarities in practice styles of men and women general practitioners were more striking than the differences.