Comparing expectations and experiences of care for sexually transmitted infections in general practice: a qualitative study

Sutcliffe, Lorna J, Sadler, Katharine E, Low, Nicola and Cassell, Jackie A (2011) Comparing expectations and experiences of care for sexually transmitted infections in general practice: a qualitative study. Sexually Transmitted Infections, 87. pp. 131-135. ISSN 1368-4973

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Abstract

Background: A key aim of England's National Strategy for Sexual Health is to extend high-quality sexual health services in primary care.

Objectives: To explore the expectations and experiences of men and women who initially presented at their general practice with a suspected sexually transmitted infection in order to identify areas where change could improve service delivery.

Methods: Semi-structured interviews were carried out in six general practices and two genitourinary medicine (GUM) clinics in Brent primary care trust (London) and Bristol (southwest England). Patients within general practice, and GUM patients who had initially attended general practice were eligible to participate. Interview transcripts were analysed using thematic analysis.

Results: 49 patients (29 women, 20 men) were interviewed. Patients approaching their GP practice typically expected written referral or in-house care, but this expectation was often not met. Absence of formal referral, lack of information and perceived avoidance of sexual health matters by practitioners were commonly cited as reasons for disappointment. However, a dedicated service within general practice met expectations well.

Conclusion: Purchasers and providers of all general practice services should ensure that any patient consulting in primary care with a suspected sexually transmitted infection can either receive appropriate care there, or a formal and supported referral to a specialised GUM clinic or primary care service.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: Brighton and Sussex Medical School > Primary Care and Public Health
Subjects: R Medicine
Depositing User: Jessica Stockdale
Date Deposited: 08 Aug 2012 08:46
Last Modified: 08 Aug 2012 08:46
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/40320
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