What if your patients don’t want to remove their clothes?

Most patients understand that going to a physician involves a physical examination that may require removal of some or all of their clothing. Although they may not like being undressed in front of a stranger, they accept it as a necessary inconvienience of medical care. Some patients are particulalry uncomfortable and this prevents them fom attending vital screening or check-ups.

According to Caryn Andrews, PhD, CRNP, Faculty of Medicine, she states that patients have many reasons for their modesty. Her research has identified cultural & religious concerns; a sense of personal vunerability, often stemming from previous trauma, an embarrassement about body appearance such as aging or being overweight.

Physical apperance plays a large factor.  Some women going through the menopausal transition and feel uncomfortable about their aging bodies.  Young women already questioning the ‘body perfect’ role model and with the ever growing dominence of social media & air brushing, comparisions are often unattainable which is leading to various levels of dysmorphia.

The willingness to accomodate cultural or personal sensitivities is an important component of building trust & respect.  Many cultures, including Hispanic, Asian, Muslim and Jewish, emphasise the importance of same-sex providers in intimate examinations.

In Islam and ultra-Orthodox Judaism, for example, certain female body parts may not be exposed in the prescence of a man unrelated by blood or marriage.  Studies of Chinese women have found that many avoid mammography or cervical screening until they were assured that a female technician would conduct the test.

Male modesty has recieved relatively little attention but this is changing with many headlines highlighting cases were men have died of prsotate cancer because they were too embarrassed to go to their Doctors.

Dignity Wear has gone a long way to address and overcome some of these issues.  Empowering men and women to reduce the feelings of vunerability and limiting unnecessary exposure.  In the words of our founder Sally Benson, “We’ve got you covered”.