Summary: The aim of this study was to determine the experience and views of female patients when they were offered a chaperone by a male sexual health practitioner for a genital examination. Between November 2007 and January 2008, an anonymous survey was administered to female patients seen by male practitioners at Melbourne Sexual Health Centre. None of the 79 (95% CI 0-5%) patients who were offered a chaperone and declined one reported that they were uncomfortable declining the offer. The qualitative analysis showed that some participants appreciated being offered the option of a chaperone even if they did not want one and that the professional attributes of the practitioner influenced their decision not to have a chaperone. Only 8% (95%CI 4-15%) felt uncomfortable when asked if they would like a chaperone. The results reassure that when a female patient declines the offer of a chaperone within a sexual health clinic, the male practitioner can feel confident that this is the expression of the patient's wish.
- Clinic policy
- Female patients