Healthcare provider and service user perspectives on STI risk reduction interventions for young people and MSM in the UK

Roy, Anupama, King, Carina, Gilson, Richard, Richardson, Daniel, Burns, Fiona, Rodger, Alison, Clark, Laura, Miners, Alec, Pollard, Alex, Desai, Sarika, Bailey, Julia, Shahmanesh, Maryam and Llewellyn, Carrie (2019) Healthcare provider and service user perspectives on STI risk reduction interventions for young people and MSM in the UK. Sexually Transmitted Infections. ISSN 1368-4973

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Behavioural interventions have been shown to reduce sexual behaviours associated with increased risk of sexually transmitted infections in young people (<25 years) and men who have sex with men (MSM) internationally, but evidence from England is limited. We aimed to explore service provider and user experiences and perspectives on behavioural interventions to reduce sexual behaviour risks, and the use of automated methods to triage individuals to these services.

We conducted a sequential mixed methods study with sexual health service providers and users in 2015/2016. Qualitative interviews with providers and service users (heterosexual young people and MSM) in London and Brighton allowed us to explore a range of experiences and expectations. A subsequent national web-survey of service providers measured the feasibility of delivery within existing resources and preferences for intervention attributes.

We conducted 35 service user (15 heterosexual young people; 20 MSM), and 26 provider interviews, and had 100 web-survey responses. We found considerable heterogeneity in prevention services offered. Service users and providers were broadly supportive of tailoring interventions offered, but service users raised concerns about automated, data-driven triage, particularly around equity and fairness of service delivery. Digital technologies, including social media or apps, were appealing to providers, being less resource intensive. However, one-to-one talking interventions remained popular with both service users and providers, being familiar, trust-worthy, and personal. Key tensions between desirability of interventions and availability of resources to deliver them was acknowledged/recognised by providers and users.

Overall, behavioural interventions to reduce sexual behaviour risks were viewed favourably by service providers and users, with key considerations including: privacy, personalisation and convenience. However, introducing desirable targeted interventions within heterogeneous sexual health settings will require resources to adapt interventions and research to fully understand the barriers and facilitators to use within routine services.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: Brighton and Sussex Medical School > Primary Care and Public Health
Depositing User: Rosie Harvey
Date Deposited: 01 Aug 2019 15:13
Last Modified: 01 Aug 2019 15:15

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