Background and purpose Differences in the treatment practice of female and male physicians have been shown in several medical subspecialties. It is currently not known whether this also applies to endovascular stroke treatment. The purpose of this study was to explore whether there are differences in endovascular treatment decisions made by female and male stroke physicians and neurointerventionalists.
Methods In an international survey, stroke physicians and neurointerventionalists were randomly assigned 10 case scenarios and asked how they would treat the patient: (A) assuming there were no external constraints and (B) given their local working conditions. Descriptive statistics were used to describe baseline demographics, and the adjusted OR for physician gender as a predictor of endovascular treatment decision was calculated using logistic regression.
Results 607 physicians (97 women, 508 men, 2 who did not wish to declare) participated in this survey. Physician gender was neither a significant predictor for endovascular treatment decision under assumed ideal conditions (endovascular therapy was favored by 77.0% of female and 79.3% of male physicians, adjusted OR 1.03, P=0.806) nor under current local resources (endovascular therapy was favored by 69.1% of female and 76.9% of male physicians, adjusted OR 1.03, P=0.814).
Conclusion Endovascular therapy decision making between male and female physicians did not differ under assumed ideal conditions or under current local resources.
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Contributors JMO: data analysis, interpretation of the data, drafting and revision of the manuscript, and figures. NK: data collection, interpretation of the data, crafting and revision of the figures, and critical revision of the manuscript. MG: data collection, fundraising, interpretation of the data, and drafting and critical revision of the manuscript. BKM, BCVC, UF, FT, PM, SY, AP, AAR, ATW, BMK, BWB, MPC, JHH, MF, AMD, PNS, and MDH: interpretation of the data, and critical revision of the manuscript. GS: data collection, interpretation of the data, and critical revision of the manuscript. MAA: data collection, drafting, interpretation of the data, and critical revision of the manuscript.
Funding This work was supported by Stryker Inc through an unrestricted research grant to the University of Calgary. The company was not involved in the design, execution, analysis, and interpretation or reporting of the results.
Competing interests None declared.
Ethics approval Approval by the localresearch ethics board was obtained.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
Data sharing statement No additional data are available.
Patient consent for publication Not required.