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The Perception of Physicians on Gender-Specific Differences in the Diagnosis of COPD: Results from a Questionnaire-Based Survey

Authors Raherison-Semjen C, Mezzi K, Kostikas K, Mackay AJ, Singh D

Received 6 August 2020

Accepted for publication 11 December 2020

Published 1 April 2021 Volume 2021:16 Pages 901—907


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Richard Russell

Chantal Raherison-Semjen,1 Karen Mezzi,2 Konstantinos Kostikas,2 Alexander J Mackay,3 Dave Singh4

1Department of Respiratory Diseases, University of Bordeaux, Bordeaux, France; 2Global Medical Affairs Department, Novartis Pharma AG, Basel, Switzerland; 3Airways Disease Section, National Heart and Lung Institute, Imperial College London, London, UK; 4Medicines Evaluation Unit, University of Manchester, Manchester University NHS Foundations Trust, Manchester, UK

Correspondence: Chantal Raherison-Semjen
Centre INSERM 1219 Equipe Epicene, BPH Bordeaux Population Health Research Center, Université de Bordeaux, ISPED Institut de Santé Publique d’épidémiologie et de Développement, 146 Rue Leo Saignat, Bordeaux, 33076, France
Tel +33 0 557571234
Email [email protected]

Objective: To evaluate the perception of physicians on gender-specific differences in the diagnosis of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) using a qualitative and anonymous questionnaire-based survey.
Methods: The survey was conducted amongst respiratory physicians attending a standalone educational conference (29– 30 September 2017) using the SpotMe® App. The 20-item standardized closed questionnaire had pre-coded responses to questions on physician’s profile, and perception of COPD diagnosis and existing comorbidities between genders. All the responses were recorded anonymously.
Results: Of 368 physicians who downloaded the SpotMe® App and had access to the survey, 132 (35.9%) completed the survey. Respondents were predominantly hospital-based (57.3%), aged 30– 49 years (54.2%), male (56.5%), and from large cities (59.5%). 68.7% of physicians perceived the prevalence of COPD to be higher in men; over 50% of physicians perceived that women were more prone to the effects of smoking. More than 60% of physicians agreed that women experience more severe symptoms (anxiety and depression) and have reduced quality of life than men. Over 50% of physicians agreed that misdiagnosis/underdiagnosis of COPD in women was an important factor for gender-differences.
Conclusion: Results from this survey indicate that the understanding of COPD burden in women varies among healthcare professionals.

Keywords: comorbidity, COPD, gender difference, physician perception, gender bias

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