Patient-centred attitudes among medical students: gender and work experience in health care make a difference

Wahlqvist, Mats, Gunnarsson, Ronny, Dahlgren, Gosta, and Nordgren, Svante (2010) Patient-centred attitudes among medical students: gender and work experience in health care make a difference. Medical Teacher, 32 (4). E191-E198.

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Background: Previous studies of medical students' patient-centred attitudes show a decline across undergraduate education and overall higher scores for female students.

Aim: To assess undergraduate students' patient-centred attitudes at various stages of education and to explore possible associations between attitudes and age, gender and work experience in health care.

Methods: In autumn 2005, medical students in Gothenburg (n = 797) were asked to answer Patient-Practitioner Orientation Scale (PPOS), a validated instrument exploring attitudes towards the doctor-patient relationship. Data including gender, age, current term and students' work experience in health care were collected.

Results: Of 797 students 600 (75%) answered the questionnaire. No decrease of students' PPOS score across the curriculum was observed. PPOS scores from female students were higher compared to males (p < 0.0001) and female scores were significantly higher in the later terms compared with earlier (p = 0.0011). Female students had more experience from working in health care (p = 0.0023). Extended work experience was associated with higher PPOS only among females (p = 0.0031).

Conclusion: No decline of students' patient-centred attitudes may indicate an ongoing shift. Gender differences in patient-centred attitudes were reproduced. Work experience in health care presents a new gender difference. These gender differences should be considered when training patient-centred attitudes and skills.

Item ID: 27609
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1466-187X
Date Deposited: 07 Jun 2013 09:13
FoR Codes: 13 EDUCATION > 1303 Specialist Studies in Education > 130308 Gender, Sexuality and Education @ 40%
13 EDUCATION > 1302 Curriculum and Pedagogy > 130209 Medicine, Nursing and Health Curriculum and Pedagogy @ 50%
17 PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES > 1701 Psychology > 170106 Health, Clinical and Counselling Psychology @ 10%
SEO Codes: 93 EDUCATION AND TRAINING > 9301 Learner and Learning > 930104 Moral and Social Development (incl. Affect) @ 30%
93 EDUCATION AND TRAINING > 9303 Curriculum > 930301 Assessment and Evaluation of Curriculum @ 70%
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