Gender and patient complaints: Are they related?

Mohammad Hassan Murad, Craig L. Gjerde, James Bobula, Michael Ostrov, Mohammad Safwan Murad

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Background: Several studies suggest that the gender of patients and their healthcare providers affects overall patient satisfaction. Aims: We sought to determine whether the gender of patients or providers was associated with the number of complaints filed by patients against providers. Methods: In this case-controlled study, complaints from a health maintenance organisation were analysed for gender disparity during a 12-month period. Results: The odds ratio for patients' female gender to be associated with complaints was 3.10 (95% confidence interval 1.73-5.55, P < 0.001). Women were also more likely than men to cite providers' behaviour as the cause of complaints. No significant associations were noted between the number of complaints and a complainant's age, diagnosis of chronic pain or psychiatric illness, or with the provider's gender, age or length of employment in the organisation. The heterogeneity of gender effect demonstrated in the literature suggests that this effect is likely to be unique to the different practice settings. Conclusion: Evaluating the presence of this phenomenon in the different practice settings is recommended, to improve patient satisfaction and subsequently the quality of care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)351-357
Number of pages7
JournalQuality in Primary Care
Issue number5
StatePublished - Dec 1 2009


  • Gender
  • Gender disparity
  • Patient complaints
  • Patient satisfaction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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