Patients who stalk doctors: their motives and management

Med J Aust. 2002 Apr 1;176(7):335-8. doi: 10.5694/j.1326-5377.2002.tb04435.x.


The prevalence of stalking is increasing and healthcare professionals are overrepresented among stalking victims. The most common motivations for stalking are patients' developing a romantic attachment, due to delusional beliefs (as in erotomania) or misplaced expectations (often by socially inept patients), and patients' developing a resentment for some supposed injury. Strategies to prevent victimisation and minimise the impact of stalking include: taking care to preserve privacy and security, making clear to patients that the relationship will always be professional and what the boundaries are, informing colleagues and other relevant parties, transferring the patient's care to another doctor, and considering legal action.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Crime Victims / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Physician-Patient Relations*
  • Sexual Harassment / prevention & control
  • Sexual Harassment / psychology*
  • Social Behavior
  • Violence / prevention & control
  • Violence / psychology*