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Patient-Provider Gender Concordance Affects Patient Heart Outcomes

American College of Cardiology workgroup recommends improving gender diversity in the workforce, research, and medical education

FRIDAY, March 12, 2021 (HealthDay News) — Patient-provider gender concordance may influence patient outcomes for heart disease, but gender concordance has less effect on patient preference, according to a review published in the March 2 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Emily S. Lau, M.D., from Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, and colleagues from the Cardiovascular Disease in Women Section of the American College of Cardiology conducted a systematic literature review to examine the association of patient-physician gender concordance with patient outcomes and preferences.

The researchers identified 13 eligible studies. Of the eight that examined patient outcomes, six revealed that patient-provider gender concordance influenced clinical outcomes. Among the five that studied patient preferences, only two demonstrated an association between gender concordance and patient behavior. No studies were randomized controlled studies. To achieve better gender concordance in clinical practice, the group recommends increasing gender diversity in the physician workforce, improving sex- and gender-specific medical training, and increasing research on the role of gender in patient-physician relationships and patient outcomes.

“How patient-physician gender concordance influences patient outcomes is not well understood, especially among patients with cardiovascular disease,” the authors write.

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