Patients prefer chaperone for usual GP rather than unfamiliar doctor

Thirteen general practices participated in the study, each inviting 30 male and 30 female patients aged 18–95 years to complete a questionnaire. 

Dr Lucie Stanford, a NSW GP who conducted the research project with Illawarra & Southern Practice Research Network, said major professional indemnity firms and the Medical Board of Australia’s publication Sexual Boundaries: Guidelines for Doctors suggest doctors should offer a chaperone for intimate examinations, and she sought to investigate patients’ attitudes towards having one. 

A total of 732 patients responded, 51% of whom were female. The proportion of patients wanting a chaperone was similar across examination types and gender, at 31.5% for a Pap smear or vaginal examination, 30.4% for a breast exam, 33% for female anorectal exam, 24.5% for male genital exam and 27.1% for male anorectal examination. 

A total of 41.4% of patients said they would prefer that a