Gender bias in patients' perceptions of patient-centered behaviors

Danielle Blanch-Hartigan, Judith A. Hall, Debra L. Roter, Richard M. Frankel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Objective: This research examines whether patient perceptions are equivalently associated with patient-centered behavior in male and female medical students, and tests the impact of a message emphasizing the importance of patient-centeredness on analogue patients' perceptions of male and female medical students' performance. Methods: Sixty-one medical students interacting with standardized patients (SPs) were viewed by 384 analogue patients (APs). APs were randomly assigned to receive a message emphasizing the value of patient-centeredness or of technical competence, or a neutral message, and then evaluated the medical students' competence in the interactions. Students' patient-centeredness was measured using the Four Habits Coding Scheme and Roter Interaction Analysis System. Results: APs in the neutral and technical competence conditions gave higher competence ratings to more patient-centered male students, but not to more patient-centered female students. However, APs who received the patient-centeredness message gave higher competence ratings to both male and female students who were higher in patient-centeredness. Conclusion: Making it clear that patient-centeredness is a dimension of physician competence eliminated a gender bias in evaluating performance. Practice implications: Because patient perceptions are often used in evaluations, gender biases must be understood and reduced so both male and female providers receive appropriate credit for their patient-centered behaviors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)315-320
Number of pages6
JournalPatient Education and Counseling
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2010


  • Bias
  • Gender
  • Medical education
  • Patient perceptions
  • Patient satisfaction
  • Patient-centered behavior
  • Provider behavior

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Gender bias in patients' perceptions of patient-centered behaviors'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this