Understanding patient choices for attending sexually transmitted infection testing services: a qualitative study.

Llewellyn, C; Pollard, A; Miners, A; Richardson, D; Fisher, M; Cairns, J; Smith, H; (2012) Understanding patient choices for attending sexually transmitted infection testing services: a qualitative study. Sexually transmitted infections. ISSN 1368-4973 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1136/sextrans-2011-050344

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: ObjectivesTo establish which aspects of sexually transmitted infection (STI) testing services are important to STI testing service users.Methods10 focus groups consisting of previous or existing users of STI testing services were conducted in community settings in the south east of England. Groups were quota sampled based on age, gender and sexual orientation. Data were analysed using Framework Analysis.Results65 respondents (58% men) participated. Perceived expertise of staff was the key reason for attendance at genitourinary medicine services rather than general practice. Although some respondents voiced a willingness to test for STIs within general practice, the apparent limited range of tests available in general practice and the perceived lack of expertise around sexual health appeared to discourage attendance at general practice. The decision of where to test for STIs was also influenced by past experience of testing, existing relationships with general practice, method of receiving test results and whether the patient had other medical conditions such as HIV.ConclusionsNo one type of STI testing service is suitable for all patients. This is recognised by policymakers, and it now requires commissioners and providers to make services outside of genitourinary medicine clinics more acceptable and attractive to patients, in particular to address the perceived lack of expertise and limited range of STIs tests available at alternative testing sites.

Item Type: Article
Faculty and Department: Faculty of Public Health and Policy > Dept of Health Services Research and Policy
PubMed ID: 22628665
Web of Science ID: 311292100012
URI: http://researchonline.lshtm.ac.uk/id/eprint/54366


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