Gender differences in experiencing negative encounters with healthcare: a study of long-term sickness absentees.
2007 (English)In: Scandinavian Journal of Public Health, ISSN 1403-4948, Vol. 35, no 6, 577-584 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
AIM: In most countries there are gender differences in sickness absence and in absentees' return to work (RTW). According to different theories sick-listed persons' experiences of encounters with healthcare professionals can influence self-esteem and RTW. The aim was to analyse gender differences in sickness absentees' experiences of negative encounters with healthcare professionals. METHODS: A questionnaire, comprising numerous questions on experiences of positive and negative encounters with professionals, was constructed and sent to 10,100 individuals who had been on sick leave for the last 6-8 months. The response rate was 58% (n = 5,802). RESULTS: Almost one-third (32%) of the female respondents and one-quarter of the male (24%), respectively, had experienced negative encounters. The most common of such experiences among both women and men were: that they were treated with indifference, with disrespect, that the professional did not take his/her time, did not listen, did not believe in, or doubted complaints. In regression analyses the women had higher significant crude odds ratios, ranging from 1.29 to 1.71, for agreeing to the separate statements on negative encounters. When adjusting for age, ethnicity, and level of education the gender differences were still significant for 14 of the 23 the statements. CONCLUSION: Women's high rate of sickness absence is considered a problem in most countries. The subjective experiences of women are an important factor to consider in efforts aiming at reducing the sick-leave rates. One important endeavour among professionals in healthcare could be to shift the focus towards a more empowering professional role.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2007. Vol. 35, no 6, 577-584 p.
National CategoryMedical and Health Sciences
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-21074DOI: 10.1080/14034940701362194PubMedID: 17852974OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-21074DiVA: diva2:240508