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Keywords:

  • quality of health care;
  • patient satisfaction;
  • gender differences;
  • nursing care

Gender bias in nursing care? Gender-related differences in patient satisfaction with the quality of nursing care

Gender-related differences in experience with nursing care, was studied using data from a Norwegian survey of patient-satisfaction. The survey included 1469 male and 1226 female patients. Results showed that young female patients were less content with all aspects of nursing care when compared with young male patients. Female patients experienced, quite contrary to their male counterparts, that the nursing staff was less committed and caring, has less time and was less skilled. The young women were also less content with what they felt was a lack of opportunity to provide the staff with information they believed to be important to their condition or ailment. Analysis also revealed that female patients, compared with their male counterparts, indicated a higher score on the subjective importance of the different aspects of care. These findings are discussed on the basis of gender-related research in general. The finding of lower satisfaction amongst younger female patients could be ascribed to the power-balance between nursing staff and patients. The discussion shows, however, that there are a number of possible interpretations as to why female patients are less content with nursing care compared with male patients. As the reasons for the findings may be derived from several sources it becomes evident that there is a need for further research using alternative approaches.