Publication Date



focus groups, health care, patient education, prevention, sex abuse, sexual misconduct


This report details the development of a stakeholder- and evidence-informed online resource guide for patients that provides information to raise awareness about sexual abuse in health care, the value of chaperones, and options for responding to sexual abuse. The guide was developed to reflect lessons learned from 10 years of researching physician wrongdoing (ie, sexual violations, improper prescribing, and unnecessary invasive procedures), a 5-year National Institutes of Health-funded mixed-methods study of 280 cases of egregious wrongdoing in medicine, and an expert working group. Focus groups were conducted with 22 patients from diverse backgrounds to obtain feedback on the acceptability of the guide. Thematic analysis of the focus groups yielded 6 key themes: 1) empowering patients, 2) recognizing and responding to sexual abuse, 3) educating patients about reporting options, 4) educating patients on availability of chaperones, 5) balancing trust and mistrust, and 6) using simple language. Qualitative data from the focus groups (ie, audio files and detailed notes taken by the research team) suggested that the guide effectively informed and empowered patients to recognize and effectively respond to sexual misconduct in health care. The guide is publicly available and has been disseminated nationally to patient health advocates and public health agencies.

Appendix A.pdf (761 kB)
Online Appendix A

Appendix B.pdf (272 kB)
Online Appendix B




May 5th, 2021


September 27th, 2021


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