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A Mother's Touch Can Reduce Exam Anxiety

Article

Because we see many sexually abused children in our practice, we invite the mother to help with superficial labial/vaginal examinations in young girls.

 

Because we see many sexually abused children in our practice, we invite the mother to help with superficial labial/vaginal examinations in young girls. We tell the mother exactly what we are going to do, then ask whether she would feel comfortable retracting the labia and touching the patient. Both the involvement of the mother and the fact that the examiner never actually touches the patient help alleviate any anxiety the patient may have. As a male physician, I have found this approach especially useful.

- Ben Huneycutt, MD
     Lexington, Ky

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