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Gender bias may affect care of people with osteoarthritis, study finds
Date:3/10/2008

ially responsible for the sex-based disparity in the rates of use of total joint arthroplasty, says Dr. Borkhoff. Physicians are susceptible to the same social stereotyping that affects all of our behavior. Decisions that stem from unconscious biases are not deliberate - physicians would be unaware of their unconscious biases affecting their decisions.

Acknowledging that a gender bias may affect physicians decision-making is the first step toward ensuring that women receive complete and equal access to care, says the principal investigator of the study, Dr. James Wright, a Professor at the University of Toronto Faculty of Medicines Department of Health Policy Management and Evaluation and the Surgeon-in-Chief at The Hospital for Sick Children. The next step is to develop creative interventions to address these disparities in health care.

More than 90% of orthopedic surgeons recommended total knee replacement to the male patient, which also suggests that surgery is the right decision and represents the best care for patients with moderate knee osteoarthritis for whom medical therapy has failed.

Our results support the need for clinician education programs to better inform physicians of the true risks of total joint arthroplasty, when and for whom to consider surgery, as well as, the potential benefits of early treatment, says Dr. Borkhoff.


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Contact: Christa Poole
christa.poole@utoronto.ca
University of Toronto
Source:Eurekalert

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