Gender Differences in Verbal Behavior Style in Interviews in Family Medicine: Mars and Venus, or North Dakota and South Dakota?
Journal of Women's Health Care
Objective: To describe and compare the doctor-patient communication referred to the verbal behavior of the female patients vs. males in the family medicine consultation. Participants and Methods: Secondary analysis of existing dataset coded to explore patient-clinician verbal communication during ambulatory visits in a family medicine office in a health Centre in Toledo (Spain) was carried out. The audio recording of the consultations and verbal content analysis of the interviews, based on the
... dentification of 6 categories of classification of behaviors of the interaction process (Proposing, Supporting/ Agreeing, Disagreeing, Giving Information, Seeking Information, and Building) was performed. A convenience sample was carried out. Other variables included were age, sex and duration of the consultation in minutes. Triangulation between different evaluators, and methodological (qualitative and quantitative) was used as a technique to control the reliability and biases. Once the qualitative study is completed, the results of the number of behaviors in the total of triadic and dyadic consultations were presented in a quantitative way (Frequencies: No, %). The bivariate comparisons were performed using the test of Chi squared and exact probability Fischer. Results: 20 consultations were included in the analysis. In interviews with women vs. males, differed only in showing more "Supporting" (39% and 29%, respectively; p=0.05), and less "Disagreement" (3% and 11% respectively; p<0.05). There were no differences in the verbal behaviors of the physician in the consultations with female vs. male patients. There were also no differences in the duration of the consultation among female patients vs. males (7': rank: 3'-15' vs. 7'; rank: 4'-12'). Conclusion: The verbal behavior in interview in the family medicine consultation with female patients vs. males shows only small differences. Neither men are of Mars nor the women of Venus; may be men are from North Dakota and women from South Dakota. Who speaks more, women or men? The results of the investigations seem contradictory. It may depend on where the conversation is: public or private. For women the language of communication tends to establish connections and negotiate relationships. For men, communication tends to preserve independence and maintain status and hierarchy  . Female callers are more verbose than male callers for open style prompts  . Older men and women were significantly