Gynecologists' perception of the patient-physician relationship in pelvic examinations in Taiwan.


OBJECTIVE To explore the gynecologists' physical contact and their interaction with patients, as well as the patient-physicians relationship during the pelvic examination (PE). STUDY DESIGN This qualitative study uses face-to-face, in-depth interviews with 20 gynecologists from three hospitals in central Taiwan. RESULTS The results revealed two main categories: adopting non-gendered and desexualised strategies and acknowledging a patient's situation. The majority of gynecologists adopted strategies to reduce their embarrassment during a PE, such as the use of a PE curtain, having a nurse in attendance, the tendency to depend on an ultrasound scan and the use of minimal verbal communication. CONCLUSION Within the social context in Taiwan, male gynecologists tend to adopt a non-gendered and desexualised attitude to lessen the embarrassment and to protect them from accusations of sexual misconduct by patients during the PE. Acknowledging a patient's situation can benefit the gynecologists and allowed them to conduct the PE more easily. The results could possibly provide the medical student with an awareness and reflection of how social interaction plays a role for the gynecologists and their patients during a PE.

DOI: 10.1080/01674820802604706

Cite this paper

@article{Chen2008GynecologistsPO, title={Gynecologists' perception of the patient-physician relationship in pelvic examinations in Taiwan.}, author={Shu-Ling Chen and Yu-Mei Chao Yu and Daniel Fu-Chang Tsai and Ming-Jer Chen}, journal={Journal of psychosomatic obstetrics and gynaecology}, year={2008}, volume={29 4}, pages={290-5} }