Diabetes management in the primary care setting: a comparison of physicians’ performance by gender

Alessandra Buja, Riccardo Fusinato, Mirko Claus, Rosa Gini, Mario Braga, Mimma Cosentino, Giovanna Boccuzzo, Paolo Francesconi, Vincenzo Baldo, Mariadonata Bellentani, Gianfranco Damiani

Risultato della ricerca: Contributo in rivistaArticolo in rivista


Background: A major shift in the gender of the medical-doctor workforce is now underway, and all over the world it is expected that an average 65% of the medical workforce will be women by 2030. In addition, an aging population means that chronic diseases, such as diabetes, are becoming more prevalent and the demand for care is rising. There is growing evidence of female physicians performing better than male physicians. Aim: Our study aimed to investigate whether any differences in diabetes process indicators are associated with gender, and/or the interaction between gender and different organizational models. Design and setting: A population-based cross-sectional analysis was conducted on a large data set obtained by processing the public health administration databases of seven Italian local health units (LHUs). The seven LHUs, distributed all over the Italian peninsula in seven different regions, took part in a national project called MEDINA, with the focus on chronic disease management in primary care (PC). Methods: A total score was calculated for the average performance in the previously listed five indicators, representing global adherence to a quality management of patients with diabetes. A multilevel analysis was applied to see how LHUs affected the outcome. A quantile regression model was also fitted. Results: Our study included 2287 Italian general practitioners (586 of them female) caring for a total of 2 646 059 patients. Analyzing the performance scores confirmed that female general practitioners obtained better results than males. The differences between males and females were stronger on the 25th and 75th percentiles of the score than on the median values. The interaction between gender and LHU was not significant. Conclusion: Our study evidenced that female physicians perform better than males in providing PC for diabetes independently by the different organizational models. Further research to understand the reasons for these gender differences is needed.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)616-621
Numero di pagine6
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2018


  • Care Planning
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • diabetes management
  • healthcare
  • performance evaluation
  • process indicators
  • quality assurance


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