Not so different after all? Comparing patients attending general practice-based locally enhanced services for sexual health with patients attending genitourinary medicine

C. H. Mercer, Catherine Aicken, J. A. Cassell, V. Hartnell, L. Davies, J. Ryan, F. Keane

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

We did a cross-sectional survey of patients attending genitourinary (GU) medicine clinics (n = 933) and general practice-based Locally Enhanced Services for Sexual Health (GP-LESSH, n = 111) in Cornwall, England, in 2009/2010, to compare patients' characteristics and experiences. Patients completed a pen-and-paper questionnaire that was then linked to an extract of their clinical data. GP-LESSH patients took longer both to seek and to receive care: medians of nine and seven days, respectively, versus GU medicine patients: medians of seven and one day, respectively. GP-LESSH patients were less likely than GU medicine patients to report symptoms (19.6% versus 30.6%) and sexual risk behaviours (33.3% versus 44.7% reported new partners) since recognizing needing to seek care; 5.0% versus 10.2% were men who have sex with men). However, they were equally likely to have sexually transmitted infections (STIs) diagnosed (23.3% versus 24.8%). As GP-LESSH may operate infrequently, local services must work collaboratively to ensure that those seeking care for suspected STIs receive it promptly. Failing to do so facilitates avoidable STI transmission.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)110-116
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of STD and AIDS
Volume24
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2013

Keywords

  • Access
  • General practice
  • Genitourinary medicine clinic
  • Locally enhanced service
  • Primary care
  • Service delivery
  • Sexual behaviour
  • Sexually transmitted infections
  • Survey
  • UK

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