The preference for an endoscopist specific sex: a link between ethnic origin, religious belief, socioeconomic status, and procedure type
Adi Lahat,1 Yehudith Assouline-Dayan,1 Lior H Katz,1 Herma H Fidder2
1Chaim Sheba Medical Center, Tel Hashomer, Israel; 2Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht, The Netherlands
Background and aim: The sex of the physician performing the endoscopic procedure is one of the parameters influencing patient satisfaction. Our aim was to characterize patients’ preferences according to their sex, socioeconomic status, and religious beliefs and according to procedure-related variables.
Methods: All patients undergoing an endoscopic procedure at Sheba Hospital between April 2012 and September 2012 were asked to complete a questionnaire regarding their sex, ethnic background, socioeconomic status, religious practice, and preference for an endoscopist of a specific sex. Questionnaires were included for analysis only when more than 95% of the items were addressed.
Results: A total of 1,009 patients agreed to complete the questionnaires; of these 946 (94% [59% male]) were eligible for inclusion. Most patients (675 [70%]) expressed no preference for sex of the endoscopist, while 234 patients (25%) preferred a same-sex endoscopist, and only 55 (6%) preferred an other-sex endoscopist. Stepwise logistic regression analysis showed that in female patients, lower education (odds ratio [OR] = 1.28), non-Jewish religion (OR = 4.86), orthodox religious practice (OR = 2.28), African or Asian ethnic origin (OR = 2.44), scheduled for colonoscopy (OR = 1.90), and no previous endoscopy experience (OR = 1.88) were all associated with a preference for a same-sex endoscopist.
Conclusion: One-quarter of patients preferred the physician performing their examination to be of particular sex. Most of these patients preferred a same-sex endoscopist. Education level, intensity of religious practice, ethnic origin, and type of endoscopic examination were associated with a preference for a same-sex endoscopist. Addressing patients’ preferences may improve the atmosphere in the clinical environment, reduce stress, and facilitate better treatment and adherence to endoscopic surveillance programs.
Keywords: endoscopy, patients’ satisfaction, compliance, patient’s preference
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