The impact of gender on medical visit communication and patient satisfaction within the Japanese primary care context

Ikuko Noro, Debra L. Roter, Satoko Kurosawa, Yasuhiko Miura, Masato Ishizaki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Objective: This study was designed to address significant gaps in the predominantly western-centric research literature by examining the influence of gender concordance in medical communication and patient satisfaction within the Japanese context. Methods: New primary care patients (54 male and 49 female) were randomly assigned to study internists (6 males and 5 females). Recorded visits were coded with the Roter Interaction Analysis System (RIAS). Post-visit, patients completed a Japanese version of the Medical Interview Satisfaction Scale (MISS). Results: Female concordant visits showed higher levels of patient-centeredness than all other gender combinations. Female physicians substantially modified their communication based on patient gender while male physicians did not. Gender concordance was associated with higher female, but lower male patient satisfaction relative to gender discordant visits. Conclusion: Contrary to normative experience of medicine as a male dominated profession in Japan, and gender-based power differentials, male-gendered clinical communication is less likely to satisfy male than female patients, while female-gendered communication is positively associated with female patient satisfaction. Practice implications: Patient satisfaction ratings reflect greater gender flexibility in terms of acceptable physician behavior than Japanese norms would suggest.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)227-232
Number of pages6
JournalPatient Education and Counseling
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2018


  • Gender dyads
  • Japan
  • Patient satisfaction
  • Physician-patient interaction
  • RIAS

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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