Some women attending General Practices (GPs) are at higher risk of unintended pregnancy (RUIP) and sexually transmitted infections (STI) than others. A clinical prediction rule (CPR) may help target resources using psychosocial questions as an acceptable, effective means of assessment. The aim was to derive a CPR that discriminates women who would benefit from sexual health discussion and intervention. Participants were recruited to a cross-sectional survey from six GPs in a city in South-East England in 2016. On arrival, female patients aged 16-44 years were invited to complete a questionnaire that addressed psychosocial factors, and the following self-reported outcomes: 2+ sexual partners in the last year (2PP) and RUIP. For each sexual risk, psychosocial questions were retained from logistic regression modelling which best discriminated women at risk using the C-statistic. Sensitivity and specificity were established in consultation with GP staff. The final sample comprised N = 1238 women. 2PP was predicted by 11 questions including age, binge-drinking weekly, ever having a partner who insulted you often, current smoking, and not cohabiting (C-statistic = 0.83, sensitivity = 73% and specificity = 77%). RUIP was predicted by 5 questions including sexual debut <16 years, and emergency contraception use in the last 6 months (C-statistic = 0.70, sensitivity = 69% and specificity = 57%). 2PP was better discriminated than RUIP but neither to a clinically-useful degree. The finding that different psychosocial factors predicted each outcome has implications for prevention strategies. Further research should investigate causal links between psychosocial factors and sexual risk.
Bibliographical note© 2018 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/BY-NC-ND/4.0/)
- Primary care
- Sexually transmitted infections
- Sexual behaviour
- Primary prevention
- Sexual healthcare
- Reproductive healthcare
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- School of Sport and Health Sciences - Principal Research Fellow
- Care, Health and Emotional Wellbeing Research and Enterprise Group
- Centre for Secure, Intelligent and Usable Systems
- Centre for Transforming Sexuality and Gender
- Centre of Resilience for Social Justice
- Public Health and Wellbeing Research and Enterprise Group