No AccessUrology PracticeBusiness of Urology1 Jan 2019

Patient Perceptions of Chaperones during Intimate Examinations and Procedures in Urology Clinic

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    We surveyed patients on their expectations and preferences regarding chaperones during intimate examinations and procedures in urology clinic.


    Patients identified in the outpatient urology clinic were queried for demographics, expectations and preferences regarding chaperones through a 16-item survey.


    We collected data from 200 patients (52.5% male, 47.5% female), average age 60.5 years (SD ± 15.5). Most patients were Caucasian (84.5%), completed some college (65.5%) and were married (52.0%). Most had a prior genitourinary procedure (men 74.7%, women 62.4%), during which 21.5% of men vs 60.7% of women had chaperones present. Most patients did not care if they had a chaperone (men 53.3%, women 54.7%). Only 11.5% of patients preferred a chaperone. Of that minority there was a higher percentage of women who preferred a chaperone compared to men (men 3.8%, women 20%). The majority of patients did not care about the gender of the chaperone but cited comfort level with the provider (men 50.0%, women 54.9%) and invasiveness of procedure or examination (men 36.4%, women 35.4%) as most important. The majority of patients (men 84.8%, women 88.4%) felt that they should have the right to refuse a chaperone.


    A minority of patients preferred to have a chaperone during an intimate examination or procedure in urology clinic. Patients prioritized comfort level with the provider, which trumped gender of provider, invasiveness of examination and identity of the chaperone. The use of chaperones during intimate examinations and procedures is routine at many institutions. In an era of patient centered care it is crucial to understand patient preferences and expectations.


    Submitted for publication January 30, 2018.

    The corresponding author certifies that, when applicable, a statement(s) has been included in the manuscript documenting institutional review board, ethics committee or ethical review board study approval; principles of Helsinki Declaration were followed in lieu of formal ethics committee approval; institutional animal care and use committee approval; all human subjects provided written informed consent with guarantees of confidentiality; IRB approved protocol number; animal approved project number.

    No direct or indirect commercial, personal, academic, political, religious or ethical incentive is associated with publishing this article.