Expert consensus on gender criteria for assessment in medical communication education

Patrick Dielissen*, Petra Verdonk, Ben J. A. M. Bottema, Anneke W. M. Kramer, Toine Lagro-Janssen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

11 Citations (Web of Science)


The aim of this study is to develop gender criteria that can be included in communication skills assessment in medical education.A three-round Delphi study was conducted. The invited 59 participants were experts in the field of gender medicine education (n = 28) and doctor-patient communication (n = 31). Each Delphi round comprised a questionnaire, an analysis, and a feedback report. In the first round, gender experts explored gender themes in doctor-patient communication from which initial gender criteria were defined. The second and third rounds were used to validate the importance and feasibility of gender criteria. Consensus was defined as a 75% panel agreement and a mean of 4 or higher on a 5-point Likert scale.Four gender criteria achieved consensus after the third round. The importance of including the gender criteria in communication skills assessment was rated consistently higher than its feasibility. Gender criteria relating to the patients' perspective, to gathering information and to gender and power were considered the most important.Using a Delphi study, we have developed gender criteria for inclusion in communication skills assessment to promote good communication between doctors and patients.Gender influences medical communication. Incorporating gender in communication skills assessment may be useful to improve the teaching and learning of communication skills.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)189-195
JournalPatient Education and Counseling
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2012


  • Gender medicine
  • Communication skills
  • Medical education
  • Assessment

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