The report, written by primary care experts at the University, indicates that male GPs are more likely to give male patients a larger amount of intermediate sick leave (6-28 weeks) from work compared with female patients certified by female doctors. The study, which is the first of its kind in the UK, is based on a survey of 3,906 patients from nine general practices across Merseyside.
Dr Mark Gabbay from the University’s Division of Primary Care explained: “The evident link between GP gender and consultation outcome could be down to differing assumptions about roles within work for male and female patients and hence capacity for work, between GPs of different gender.
“On the other hand, the key to gender interaction differences might be found with the patient. Male patients may be more demanding, or better negotiators, when facing a male GP. What is not clear is whether this group do indeed have relatively greater problems, poorer coping skills, or are more sympathetically dealt with by male than female GPs.”
Mild mental disorders (MMDs) such as depression and anxiety were the commonest cause of complaint by women, followed by musculoskeletal problems for which males sought a higher proportion of medical attention. The research revealed however, that male patients were granted a longer amount of sick leave for MMDs compared with female patients, by doctors of both genders groups.
Dr Gabbay explained: “Previous research suggests male patients do not often present clear psychological symptoms of MMDs thus complicating diagnosis of related diseases by the GP. The complexities involved with diagnosing MMDs in males could go some way to explaining the longer sick leave granted by the doctor.”
It has been reported that every week in the UK, approximately 17,000 people of working age reach their sixth week of sickness absence. The majority will return to paid employment but is it is estimated that around 3,000 of those people will subsequently exceed the 28-week incapacity episode and become eligible to claim incapacity benefit.
In the UK, the first week of sickness can be self-certified by the patient but thereafter must be certified by their GP. The GP has a contractual obligation to certify sickness absence on the basis of an assessment of a patient’s capacity to conduct duties involved in their ‘usual occupation’.
Dr Gabbay added: “Sickness certification is an important outcome of a GP consultation – it has wide social and economic impact in relation to the workforce in the UK, as well as implications for the individual. We will be further investigating links between gender interaction and sickness consultation to determine the reasons behind this bias.”
The research has been published in the journal Family Practice.
Joanna Robotham | alfa
New study from the University of Halle: How climate change alters plant growth
12.01.2018 | Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg
Disarray in the brain
18.12.2017 | Universität zu Lübeck
What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...
For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.
Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...
At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.
No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...
Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) and Tohoku University have developed high-quality GFO epitaxial films and systematically investigated their ferroelectric and ferromagnetic properties. They also demonstrated the room-temperature magnetocapacitance effects of these GFO thin films.
Multiferroic materials show magnetically driven ferroelectricity. They are attracting increasing attention because of their fascinating properties such as...
The oceans are the largest global heat reservoir. As a result of man-made global warming, the temperature in the global climate system increases; around 90% of...
08.01.2018 | Event News
11.12.2017 | Event News
08.12.2017 | Event News
18.01.2018 | Life Sciences
18.01.2018 | Life Sciences
18.01.2018 | Earth Sciences