Pediatric residents' assessment of adolescents' experiences during pelvic examination

Robert H. Durant, Carolyn Seymore, M. Susan Jay, David Freeman, Cecil Sharp, Charles W. Linder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


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).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)407-412
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Adolescent Health Care
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1987


  • 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


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