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Chaperones in ENT out-patients; the patients' perspective.

Authors
  • 1
Type
Published Article
Journal
The Journal of laryngology and otology
1748-5460
Publication Date
Volume
121
Issue
7
Pages
684–686
Identifiers
PMID: 17076942
Source
Medline

Abstract

Chaperones are used in order to avoid misunderstandings that can lead to false accusations. Consultations and examinations may be a minefield especially if the doctors are accused of sexual misconduct. The allegations may have irreparable effects on their reputation and may lead to removal from the medical register and to criminal charges being brought. We present the results of a questionnaire from 85 patients, exploring patient experience in ENT out-patients particularly with respect to examination of the ear under the microscope. This procedure necessitates close contact between the patient and doctor for several minutes and there may be inadvertent contact with intimate areas on the patient. Up to 30 per cent of patients expressed a preference for a chaperone during the ENT consultation. There was noticeably a greater proportion of men than women patients stating a preference for a chaperone during the consultation. Interestingly, there was a strong positive correlation between the presence of friends/relatives and the preference for a chaperone. Patients should be given the freedom to choose for or against the presence of a chaperone in clinic consultations. The most commonly predicted scenario requiring a chaperone is with the male doctor and female patient. This study shows that based on patient feedback, this scenario, although common is not the exclusive area in which chaperones should be used.

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