Silent voices that must be heard–women’s perceptions of gynecologic examinations

Sara Tancman, Nehama HaCohen, Gal Lazarus, Ido Solt, Lena Sagi-Dain*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations

Abstract

Purpose: To analyze the perception of gynecologic examination from the patients’ point of view. Materials and methods: This anonymous electronic cross-sectional survey aimed to evaluate the subjective experiences of women during gynecologic examinations (levels of pain, embarrassment and trauma), the manner the examination was conducted, and women’s suggestions for improving their experience. Results: Overall, 6,508 women answered the survey. The examination was considered an embarrassing event by 47%, painful by 35% and traumatic by 19%. Importantly, only 43% of the respondents stated they would notify the gynecologist in case of physical discomfort or pain during the examination. The quality of physician-to-patient communication was rated as the most important aspect of gynecologic examination, and showed a significant association with the general quality of the experience (levels of pain, embarrassment, and trauma). Matters relating to women’s privacy during gynecologic examination were also considered important. An option for a companion was rated as important by 64% of the respondents. Significant differences with large effect-sizes were found between the respondents’ preferences and their reports of the observed situation. Conclusion: The findings highlight the need for establishing guidelines for gynecologic examinations, according to a patient-centered care approach. This study constitutes a first discourse on the subject of gynecologic examinations in Israel in order to provide an overview and initial insights, serving as a starting point for further specific and more in-depth research.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)190-197
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Psychosomatic Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Volume43
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 2022
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.

Keywords

  • General gynaecology
  • gynecologic/pelvic examination
  • midwifery
  • women’s health

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