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Presence of chaperones during pelvic examinations in southeast Nigeria: Women’s opinions, attitude, and preferences

PO Nkwo
CO Chigbu
S Nweze
OS Okoro
LO Ajah


Objectives: To assess the opinions, attitude, and preferences of Nigerian women to the presence of chaperones during pelvic examinations.
Materials and Methods: A cross‑sectional survey of first time gynecology clinic attendees on their opinions, attitudes, and preferences with respect to the presence of chaperones during their pelvic examinations. The interview was conducted with the aid of semi‑structured, researcher‑administered questionnaires.
Results: One hundred and nineteen (51.7%) of the respondents preferred female physicians for pelvic examination, 23 (10%) preferred male physicians and 88 (38.3%) had no gender preference. When the examining physician is a male, 124 (53.9%) respondents would like to have chaperones during pelvic examinations while 106 (46.1%) would not. Eighty‑three percent of respondents preferred nurse chaperones. Age, level of education, and parity did not have any significant relationship with the attitude of the respondents toward the presence of chaperones (P = 0.503, 0.525, and 0.605 respectively).
Conclusions: We conclude that most southeastern Nigerian women would prefer their pelvic examinations to be done by a female physician or to be attended by a nurse chaperone if the examining physician is a male. We recommend a routine offer of chaperones during such examinations while respecting the patients’ right to refuse the offer.

Keywords: Attitudes, chaperone, pelvic examination, preferences, southeast Nigeria

Nigerian Journal of Clinical Practice • Oct-Dec 2013 • Vol 16 • Issue 4