Having a third party present during emotionally charged patient interactions, or “chaperone,” has traditionally been seen to benefit both the patient and the practitioner. The goal of researchers in conducting this research was to better understand how patients feel about chaperones and how they would like to be treated by them. Following Institutional Review Board approval, a questionnaire was sent out online through the ResearchMatch platform and to patients at an outpatient urology clinic to gauge their preferences for the use of chaperones. Respondents’ demographics, clinical experiences, and preferences were analyzed using descriptive statistics. Factors related to the desire for a chaperone to be present during medical appointments were identified using multiple regression analysis. The findings show that a total of 913 people participated in the poll. Over half 52.9% respondents said they wouldn’t feel comfortable with a chaperone present for any part of a doctor’s visit. Although 76.3% and 85.1% of respondents found rectal and genital/pelvic examinations to be sensitive, only 25.6 and 15.7% preferred a chaperone during these visits. Trust in the provider (80%) and ease with exams (70.4%) were cited as reasons for not wanting a chaperone present. It was shown that male respondents were less likely to prefer a chaperone (OR 0.28, 95% CI 0.19-0.39) or to think that the gender of the provider was a significant influence in that decision (OR 0.28, 95% CI 0.09-0.66). To sum up, the gender of the patient and the medical professional have the greatest impact on the decision to have a chaperone present. The majority of people do not want a chaperone present during private urological tests.

Source: auajournals.org/doi/10.1097/UPJ.0000000000000327