The digital rectal examination

A multicenter survey of physicians' and students' perceptions and practice patterns

Reuben K. Wong, Douglas A. Drossman, Adil E. Bharucha, Satish Sanku Chander Rao, Arnold Wald, Carolyn B. Morris, Amy S. Oxentenko, Karthik Ravi, Daniel M. Van Handel, Hollie Edwards, Yuming Hu, Shrikant Bangdiwala

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

42 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objectives: The digital rectal examination (DRE) may be underutilized. We assessed the frequency of DREs among a variety of providers and explored factors affecting its performance and utilization. Methods: A total of 652 faculty, fellows, medical residents, and final-year medical students completed a questionnaire about their use of DREs. Results: On average, 41 DREs per year were performed. The yearly number of examinations was associated with years of experience and specialty type. Patient refusal rates were lowest among gastroenterology (GI) faculty and highest among primary-care doctors. Refusal rates were negatively correlated with comfort level of the physician in performing a DRE. More gastroenterologists used sophisticated methods to detect anorectal conditions, and gastroenterologists were more confident in diagnosing them. Confidence in making a diagnosis with a DRE was strongly associated with the number of DREs performed annually. Conclusions: The higher frequencies of performing a DRE, lower refusal rate, degree of comfort, diagnostic confidence, and training adequacy were directly related to level of experience with the examination. Training in DRE technique has diminished and may be lost. The DRE's role in medical school and advanced training curricula needs to be re-established.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1157-1163
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Gastroenterology
Volume107
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2012
Externally publishedYes

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Digital Rectal Examination
Students
Physicians
Medical Faculties
Gastroenterology
Medical Schools
Medical Students
Curriculum
Primary Health Care
Surveys and Questionnaires

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology
  • Gastroenterology

Cite this

The digital rectal examination : A multicenter survey of physicians' and students' perceptions and practice patterns. / Wong, Reuben K.; Drossman, Douglas A.; Bharucha, Adil E.; Rao, Satish Sanku Chander; Wald, Arnold; Morris, Carolyn B.; Oxentenko, Amy S.; Ravi, Karthik; Van Handel, Daniel M.; Edwards, Hollie; Hu, Yuming; Bangdiwala, Shrikant.

In: American Journal of Gastroenterology, Vol. 107, No. 8, 01.08.2012, p. 1157-1163.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Wong, RK, Drossman, DA, Bharucha, AE, Rao, SSC, Wald, A, Morris, CB, Oxentenko, AS, Ravi, K, Van Handel, DM, Edwards, H, Hu, Y & Bangdiwala, S 2012, 'The digital rectal examination: A multicenter survey of physicians' and students' perceptions and practice patterns', American Journal of Gastroenterology, vol. 107, no. 8, pp. 1157-1163. https://doi.org/10.1038/ajg.2012.23
Wong, Reuben K. ; Drossman, Douglas A. ; Bharucha, Adil E. ; Rao, Satish Sanku Chander ; Wald, Arnold ; Morris, Carolyn B. ; Oxentenko, Amy S. ; Ravi, Karthik ; Van Handel, Daniel M. ; Edwards, Hollie ; Hu, Yuming ; Bangdiwala, Shrikant. / The digital rectal examination : A multicenter survey of physicians' and students' perceptions and practice patterns. In: American Journal of Gastroenterology. 2012 ; Vol. 107, No. 8. pp. 1157-1163.
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