Results showed a substantial percentage of surgical patients experienced exposure-related stress or anxiety, and the use of medical undergarments to cover their genitalia and buttocks significantly increased levels of patient satisfaction.
Researchers randomly assigned patients at a single orthopedic specialty hospital into groups based on whether they received a standard-of-care gown only (n=100) or a standard-of-care gown plus a single-use undergarment designed with retractable panels and a releasable waistband (Covr Medical; n=100). Researchers collected preoperative and postoperative surveys from patients evaluating their levels of anxiety about exposing their bodies in a medical setting.
Overall, 91% of patients completed the preoperative surveys and 83% of patients completed the post-discharge surveys. Results showed 31% of patients reported being uncomfortable exposing their “private, intimate parts” in a medical setting and 22% of patients reported experiencing stress or anxiety related to body exposure. Researchers found 54% of patients agreed or strongly agreed that protecting personal modesty is important when undergoing a medical procedure.
Researchers noted 87% of patients in the undergarment group vs. 73% of patients in the standard-of-care group agreed or strongly agreed that the garments provided by the hospital met their expectations for privacy. Researchers found 39% of patients in the undergarment group strongly agreed that they were satisfied with the hospital-provided garments compared with 18% of patients in the standard-of-care group. Patients in the undergarment group agreed or strongly agreed that the hospital-provided garments would influence their choice of hospital three times as often as the standard-of-care group, according to results.
“Based on these findings, hospitals and providers should consider offering specially designed medical undergarments to reduce the exposure-related anxiety and concerns of patients,” the authors wrote.