Current trends in chaperone use by plastic and reconstructive surgeons

Umar Choudry, Ruth J. Barta, Nicholas Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Purpose: There is a paucity of literature regarding the use of chaperones by surgeons when examining patients. Use of a chaperone not only makes the patient comfortable but also potentially protects the surgeon from perceived misconduct. This is especially true for plastic surgeons who examine sensitive areas commonly. The purpose of this study was to determine the current trends in chaperone use by plastic surgeons when examining patients. Materials and Methods: A 23-question online survey was sent to all members of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. Data collected online were analyzed using Student t test and Pearson W2 test. A P G 0.05 was considered significant. Results: Of the 4990 surgeons polled, 830 (16.6%) responded to some or all of the questions (707 [85%] male; 117 [14%] female). The overall chaperone use by plastic surgeons during all examinations of patients was 30%. This rate increased up to 60% while examining sensitive areas. Male surgeons reported a higher frequency of chaperone use than female surgeons (P G 0.001). Cosmetic surgeons had a higher rate of chaperone use compared to reconstructive surgeons (P = 0.001). Similarly, surgeons who had been in practice for more than 20 years reported a higher rate of chaperone use compared to surgeons in practice for less than 20 years (P = 0.032). Sixty-one (7.6%; 56 male and 5 female) surgeons reported being accused of inappropriate behavior by patients, of whom 49 (80%) did not have a chaperone present. There was no significant difference among male and female surgeons in rates of being accused of inappropriate behavior (7.9% vs 4.2%, P = 0.19). Conclusions: There was a higher rate of chaperone use by male plastic surgeons, surgeons with more than 20 years experience, and cosmetic surgeons. Despite the difference in chaperone use between the sexes, both had similar rates of being accused of inappropriate behavior during examinations by patients, and although these incidents were quite low, most had no chaperone present during those examinations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)709-713
Number of pages5
JournalAnnals of plastic surgery
Volume70
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2013

Keywords

  • Asps
  • Chaperones
  • Cosmetic Surgery
  • Lawsuits
  • Patient Examinations
  • Plastic Surgeons
  • Plastic Surgery
  • Reconstructive Surgery

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