Gender differences in understanding and acceptance of robot-assisted surgery
journal contributionposted on 25.04.2019, 13:22 authored by Hilary McDermottHilary McDermott, Nazmin Choudhory, Molly Lewin-Runacres, Ismail Aemn, E.L. Moss
Robot-assisted surgery has numerous patient benefits compared to open surgery including smaller incisions, lower risk of infection, less post-operative pain, shorter hospital stays and a quicker return to the workforce. As such, it has become the first-choice surgical modality for several surgical procedures with the most common being prostatectomy and hysterectomy. However, research has identified that the perceptions of robot-assisted surgery among surgical patients and medical staff often do not accurately reflect the real-world situation. This study aimed to understand male and female perceptions of robot-assisted surgery with the objective of identifying the factors that might inhibit or facilitate the acceptance of robotic surgery. Semi-structured interviews were undertaken with 25 men/women from diverse social/ethnic backgrounds. The interviews were transcribed and analysed using thematic analysis. The majority of female participants expressed concerns in relation to the safety and perception of new technology in surgery, whereas many male participants appeared to be unfazed by the notion of robotic surgery. There were clear differences in how males and females understood and conceptualised the robot-assisted surgical process. Whilst male participants tended to humanise the process, female participants saw it as de-humanising. There is still a discrepancy between the public perceptions of robotic surgery and the clinical reality perceived by healthcare professionals. The findings will educate medical staff and support the development of current informative techniques given to patients prior to surgery.
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