Medical students' opinions of chaperone use during gynecological and anorectal examinations

C. Boyd, S. Abraham*, A. Taylor, E. Cousins, M. Hughan, M. Yee

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


The opinions of medical students on chaperone use during physical examinations of the male and female was studied. The students (157) had conducted their first gynecological or first anorectal and prostate examination. Fifty-one percent of students were female, 56% younger than 25 years of age, and 77% males and 73% females had experienced sexual intercourse. Data on the use of a chaperone during vaginal, anorectal, breast and musculoskeletal examinations when conducted by doctors and by students was collected by anonymous questionnaire. Most students feel a chaperone is necessary when students in-training conduct vaginal (94%), anorectal (94%) or breast (89%) examinations. Fewer students feel a chaperone is necessary when doctors rather than students conduct vaginal (41%), anorectal (22%) and breast (25%) examinations. Students were significantly more likely to feel a chaperone was necessary when a doctor of the opposite sex conducts vaginal (58%) and anorectal (34%) examinations, compared to a doctor of the same sex. Students who were male, 25 years or older or had not experienced sexual intercourse were significantly more likely to favour doctors using chaperones. The differences in responses of students of differing age, gender and sexual experience should be considered and discussed when students are learning invasive physical examinations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11-15
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Psychosomatic Obstetrics and Gynecology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Anorectal
  • Gynecological
  • Physical examination
  • Prostate


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