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J Fam Pract. 1979 Dec;9(6):1039-45.

Attitudes of women toward the gynecologic examination.


This study was undertaken to determine why patients feel uncomfortable during the gynecologic examination, to assess general knowledge about the procedures, and to find out what would make the patient feel better about the examination. Nine hundred seventy-seven women sampled in 14 different health care facilities in the Salt Lake area in Utah filled out a two-page, self-administered questionnaire while waiting for a medical appointment. Results show that women feel less comfortable during the pelvic examination than they do during the breast examination; physical discomfort of the pelvic examination is the reason most frequently cited. There were 77.1 percent who stated they would feel better about the examination if the physician told them what was going to happen. Over 70 percent wanted to know more about their female organs, normal sexual functions and emotions, and reasons and procedures for the pelvic examination; 68.3 percent felt that knowing more would make them more comfortable. There were 46.5 percent who thought the use of a mirror for the woman to observe the examination was a good idea. Only 28.9 percent knew the rectum was examined. This study shows that women need and want to be educated about the gynecologic examination.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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