The influence of patient gender on medical and psychology students' illness attributions: Experiences with a narrative technique

Ilona Csörsz, Péter Kakuk, Eszter M. Mills, Péter Molnár, János Máth, Márta Csabai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


We attempted to identify whether and how the gender of the patient influences interpretations of an illness narrative. We investigated how medical and psychology undergraduates' (n = 313) views change according to the patient's gender, students' gender, and field of study. A short story about a female patient was chosen as stimulus material, and a gender-modified version with a male protagonist was created for comparison. Responses were content analyzed by qualitative and quantitative methods. The female patient elicited more detailed descriptions and somatizing attributions. The gender of students had a stronger impact on responses than their field of study.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)642-652
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Health Psychology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2014



  • future professionals
  • gender stereotype
  • illness narrative
  • somatization
  • symptom interpretation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology

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