Patient perceptions of the need for chaperones during pelvic exams

D. D. Patton, S. Bodtke, R. D. Horner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


This report describes the attitudes of women patients about the presence and role of a chaperone during pelvic exams and factors associated with these perceptions. A questionnaire was mailed to a systematic sample of all adult women patients of an academic-affiliated family practice (n=939) in a rural southeastern United States community. Approximately 64% of the sample responded, and 440 (91%) of the returned questionnaires could be used in the analysis. Over half of the patients had no gender preference for the examining physician; when a preference was indicated, it was for a woman physician. Patients expressing a preference were more likely to be younger, never married, nulliparous, and black. Gender of the examining physician was a major factor in the desire for a chaperone during pelvic exams. A chaperone was desired most often when the examining physician was male, and this was especially so when a female physician was preferred. The results indicate most women desired a chaperone when the physician was male, but preferred no chaperone or had no preference when a woman physician was involved.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)215-218
Number of pages4
JournalFamily Medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1990
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Family Practice


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