This study investigates the effects of physician gender and communication styles on participant responses to physicians. Participants were 146 mostly low-income students (50% Caucasian, 50% African-American) who each viewed one of four videotapes of physicians varying in communication style (affiliative, controlling) and gender (male, female). The affiliative communication style evoked the greatest levels of participant satisfaction, trust, self-disclosure, and compliance. Physician gender did not significantly affect these variables. Participants' recall of medical information showed an interaction: When the physician was male, participants recalled more when he was controlling than when he was affiliative; when the physician was female, communication style did not affect participant recall. Results suggest that physician communication style is more important than gender in determining patient response.
Sex Roles – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 16, 2004
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