We compared male and female pediatric residents' perceptions of adolescent females' attitude and experience during a pelvic examination. Females (n = 112) ages 12-19 years were randomly assigned to a male of female examiner and to a supine or semisitting pelvic-examination position. Pre- and postexamination questionnaires were completed by the patients. Female physicians were more accurate in assessing patient discomfort (p < 0.006), pain (p < 0.0004), and embarrassment (p < 0.0006) during the pelvic examination. The correlation between the physicians' and the patients' assessments of the completeness of the examination was stronger for the male physicians (p < 0.003). These relationships remained constant for both positions. The female physicians' appeared to base their perceptions of the patient-physician relationship partly on the emotional responses of the patient such as embarrassment, fear, and relaxation (p < 0.02). In contrast, male physicians' perceptions were associated with patient expressions of pain and discomfort (p < 0.02).
- Adolescents' emotional responses
- Pelvic examinations
- Residents' assessments of adolescents' feelings
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health