Developing a valid and acceptable psychosocial index of women's sexual health risk to enable targeting of interventions in community settings - NIHR Doctoral Research Fellowship

  • Edelman, Natalie (PI)

    Project Details


    This study developed a clinical prediction Rule which used psychosocial questions to target sexual healthcare to women attending British General Practices. 
    It comprised three studies. Two of these were preliminary studies to identify which were the best psychosocial predictors of STIs and unintended pregnancy and risk behaviours in general populations of women in the Western world. 
    Study one addressed this question using a systematic review. Study two addressed this question more specifically by conducting complex survey analysis of the National Survey of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles-3. 
    A survey questionnaire was then developed comprising measures of sexual risk and the best of the psychosocial predictors. This questionnaire was completed by 1770 women in Brighton & Hove and used to create a bespoke dataset from which to derive the clinical prediction rules using clinical prediction modelling

    Layman's description

    A quiz using lifestyle questions was developed to identify which women attending their GP surgery might benefit from contraception or sexually transmitted infection testing or treatment. 
    Two studies were run to work out which lifestyle questions were best at picking up who is at risk in surveys that had already been carried out. Then a survey was run with nearly 2000 women in Brighton & Hove to work out which psychosocial questions were best at picking up women who were in need of sexual health advice. 

    Key findings

    Psychosocial questions can be effectively used to identify sexual health risks, and different questions predict unintended pregnancy risk from those which predict risk of STIs.

    Socio-demographic questions such as age and socio-economic status continue to predict sexual risk even after psychosocial questions are put into statistical models. This means that we do not fully understand how age and poverty predicts sexual morbidity.
    Effective start/end date1/10/1330/09/18


    • NIHR


    • primary care
    • STIs
    • pregnancy
    • modelling
    • women
    • psychosocial


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