A patient may avoid seeking medical care because of modesty and embarrassment. A delay in seeking care allows for a disease to progress which increases morbidity and mortality for the patient.


Risk factors for embarrassment:

(1) requiring exposure of genitals, anorectal region or the female breast

(2) number of people present (and what they might be thinking)

(3) culture of the patient

(4) upbringing

(5) behavior of the provider(s)

(6) appearance of the provider

(7) sense of shame associated with the condition

(8) relationship with the provider


Embarrassment can be reduced by:

(1) making sure that appropriate coverings are present

(2) having a professional attitude towards the patient and the problem

(3) recognizing the problem and taking steps to reassure the patient, such as having a chaperone present


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