[Sexual contact between general practitioner and patient in the Netherlands: prevalence and risk factors]
SourceNederlands Tijdschrift voor Geneeskunde, 148, 16, (2004), pp. 778-782
Article / Letter to editor
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Primary and Community Care
Centre for Quality of Care Research
Nederlands Tijdschrift voor Geneeskunde
SubjectEBP 4: Quality of Care
OBJECTIVE: To obtain data on sexual contact between general practitioners (GPs) and their patients and to determine the relationship between sexual abuse and GP characteristics. DESIGN: Cross-sectional. METHOD: In February-May 2002, anonymous questionnaires were mailed to a randomized sample of 1250 general practitioners in the Netherlands. RESULTS: A total of 977 general practitioners responded (response: 80%). This number included relatively large numbers of women and GPs aged > or = 50. Out of the 977 GPs, 32 had had sexual contact with a patient at some time: 30/695 (4.3%) of the male GPs and 2/247 (0.8%) of the female GPs Coitus was reported by 24 (75%) of them. Of the 32 perpetrators 11 (34%) had had sexual contact with 2 or more patients. Of the 30 male GPs who engaged in sexual contact with patients, 20 (67%) afterwards felt positive about the sexual encounter for himself and 22 (73%) for the patient. Sexual contact with a patient occurred more often among men who at the time of the survey were aged < or = 50 [corrected]. The incidence was not related to the degree of urbanisation of the practice area or to the size of the practice partnership. CONCLUSION: Sexual contacts between general practitioners and their patients are not just incidents. It is not enough to be conscious of one's own sexual feelings towards patients. Implementation of a clear policy is needed.
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