Patient-Physician Gender Concordance Aids Obese Males

Obese men most likely to receive weight-related counseling from male physicians

TUESDAY, May 24 (HealthDay News) -- Patient-physician gender concordance has a positive correlation with exercise and diet/nutrition counseling in obese male patients, according to a study published in the June issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Octavia Pickett-Blakely, M.D., M.H.S., from the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, and colleagues investigated the role of patient-physician gender concordance in obesity care. Patients and physicians were categorized as female gender-concordant, male gender-concordant, female gender-discordant, and male gender-discordant. Data from clinical encounters of 5,667 obese individuals and their physicians from the National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey from 2005 to 2007 were assessed to determine the impact of concordance/discordance and three types of weight-related counseling: diet/nutrition, exercise, and weight reduction.

The investigators found that 30, 23, and 20 percent of patients were provided with diet/nutrition, exercise, and weight reduction counseling, respectively. The male gender-concordant patient-physician pairs had significantly higher odds of receiving diet/nutrition counseling (odds ratio [OR], 1.58) and exercise counseling (OR, 1.76) compared to female gender-concordant patient-physician pairs. No significant differences were seen in any of the types of weight reduction counseling in the discordant pairs, or the female-concordant pair.

"Patient-physician gender concordance may help improve physician practice patterns related to weight-related counseling among obese male patients," the authors write.

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