American Journal of Public Health Research. 2014, 2(1), 21-26DOI:
Abstract: Globally, women’s preference for male or female health providers within a general context of reduced number of female doctors and biases in educational opportunities against women is by no means a new issue. However, the reason for the preference differs across continents. In developed countries these preferences are mostly based on the providers attributes in terms of experience, communication style and technical expertise, but in developing countries it is more of cultural or socially related factors. This study assessed the preferred health provider genders and the correlates among women attending Obstetrics/Gyneacology clinic at Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital, Zaria, northwestern Nigeria. A cross sectional descriptive study using a non probability sampling technique was carried out on 426 female Obstetrics/Gyneacology clinic attendees from 6th January, 2010 to 19th March, 2010 by means of interviewer administered questionnaire. Data was analysed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS version 17), with level of significance set at p< 0.05. Multiple logistic regression models were performed to investigate independent predictors that had significant chi-square by controlling for possible confounders. The findings showed that the average age of 419 women who consented for the study was 29.4 (+ 11.2) years. Overall, 59.2% (n=248), of the respondents prefer female gynecologist, whereas 22.2 % (n=93) didn’t have any sex preference and 18.7% (n =78) preferred a male. Amongst those who preferred female providers, the provider’s communication ability (79.0%), religion (73.4%), knowledge (63.3%), experience (62.9%), technical expertise (55.2%), and sympathy (52.4%) were considered important characteristics. The age, ethnicity, religion and marital status of the patients all have significant relationship with preferred provider’s gender but patient’s religion was the main predicting factor. In conclusion, majority of women did prefer a female obstetrician/gynecologist. However, the religion of the women was the most likely determinant factor. Therefore, it was concluded that the Muslim women should be encourage to specialize in Obstetrics/Gyneacology to meet the needs of female Muslim patients.