New analysis by experts has exposed how mental health patients are treated differently based on their gender.

The study, published by King's College London in collaboration with Maudsley Learning and the Simulation and Interactive Learning Centre (SaIL), expands on existing research about gender biases in healthcare – and attests to how more training is needed to help combat the issue.

As part of the study, researchers analysed conversations between healthcare professionals and actors posing as mental health patients. This included doctors, nurses and healthcare assistants.

The results found that healthcare professionals deemed female patients to be less likely to perpetrate domestic violence than male patients.

The implication made by the report is that biases can affect access to healthcare, as well as the quality of healthcare received, based on the gender of the patient.

This is yet another report that reveals the gender biases in the healthcare system, and how gender discrimination persists amongst mental health patients.

Chris Attoe, Head of Research and Development at Maudsley Learning said: “The findings of this report attest to how more awareness and training is needed for healthcare professionals. Otherwise, gender biases will become more entrenched, and more patients will experience discrimination as a result.”

Maudsley Learning is part of the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust,

and works in partnership with the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience at King’s College London.

They offer mental health training for healthcare professionals, including GPs, nurses, mental health workers, hospital staff and more.

Gauci, A. A., Attoe, C., Woodhead, C., Hatch, S. L., & Kainth, R. (2022). The influence of patient gender in healthcare professional decision-making: an interaction analysis of simulation debriefings. International Journal of Healthcare Simulation, (null), 1-9.