Male discomfort during the digital rectal examination: Does examiner gender make a difference?

Darryl J. Macias, Michael J. Sarabia, David P. Sklar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


To determine if examiner gender affects men's perceived pain and embarrassment during en emergency department (ED) digital rectal examination, we prospectively studied male ED patients undergoing rectal examination. Each subject's perceived pain and embarrassment was gauged using 100 mm visual analog scales. Age, complaint, and examiner gender and training level were recorded. Two-tailed Mann-Whitney or Kruskal-Wallis tests examined significant differences among group mean pain and embarrassment scores. Of 126 subjects, 60 had female and 66 hed male examiners. Mean pain scores were similar for patients of female (36.5 mm) and male (37.4 mm) examiners (95% Cl-9.8 to 11.5, P = .73). Mean embarrassment scores were similar for female (36.6 mm) and for male (32.9 mm) examiners (95% Cl -7.9 to 15.3, P = .67). Younger male patients experienced more pain and embarrassment (P < .027). Examiner training level and prostatic examination did not affect the score. (C) 2000 W.B. Saunders Company.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)676-678
Number of pages3
JournalAmerican Journal of Emergency Medicine
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • Digital rectal examination
  • Embarrassment
  • Gender
  • Pain

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine


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