Background: The use of a chaperone in the clinical setting is a much debated subject. There have been many guidelines and papers written on this topic, but always from the medical profession’s point of view. For the first time, this survey focuses on the opinion of the patient.
Methods: 800 consecutive patients attending the urology outpatient clinic were asked to complete a questionnaire on basic patient demographics and their opinions on chaperones.
Results: Of 709 patients who completed the questionnaires, 553 (78%) were male. Overall, 535 (75.5%) patients did not want a chaperone present. Only 66 (42%) females stated a preference for the presence of a chaperone. Of the 174 patients requesting a chaperone, 102 (59%) patients wished the role to be taken by a friend or family member. 90% of these patients attended with the appropriate person.
Conclusions: Most patients do not want a chaperone present for intimate examinations. Most women do not wish to have a chaperone present. Of those who do wish to have a chaperone present, more than half want a family member or friend to fill the role. This would be against current guidelines. However, in a “patient-centred” service, these results should be taken into consideration.
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Competing interests: None.
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