Nonclinical Sexual Health Support for HIV, Viral Hepatitis, and Other Sexually Transmitted Infections in Gay, Bisexual, and Other Men Who Have Sex With Men: Protocol for a European Community Health Worker Online Survey (ECHOES)

Sherriff, Nigel, Huber, Jorg, McGlynn, Nick, Llewellyn, Carrie, Pollard, Alex, Lorente, Nicolas, Folch, Cinta, Crawley, Caoimhe, Panochenko, Olsana, Krone, Michael, Dutarte, Maria and Casabona, Jordi (2020) Nonclinical Sexual Health Support for HIV, Viral Hepatitis, and Other Sexually Transmitted Infections in Gay, Bisexual, and Other Men Who Have Sex With Men: Protocol for a European Community Health Worker Online Survey (ECHOES). JMIR Research Protocols, 9 (2). e15012. ISSN 1929-0748

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Abstract

Background: The term “community health worker” (CHW) can apply to a wide range of individuals providing health services and support for diverse populations. Very little is known about the role of CHWs in Europe working in nonclinical settings who promote sexual health and prevent HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) among gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (MSM).

Objective: This paper describes the development and piloting of the first European Community Health Worker Online Survey (ECHOES) as part of the broader European Union-funded ESTICOM (European Surveys and Trainings to Improve MSM Community Health) project. The questionnaire aimed to assess the knowledge, attitudes, and practices of CHWs providing sexual health services to gay, bisexual, and other MSM in European settings.

Methods: ECHOES comprises three superordinate domains divided into 10 subsections with 175 items (routed) based on a scoping exercise and literature review, online prepiloting, and Europe-wide consultation. Additional piloting and cognitive debriefing interviews with stakeholders were conducted to identify comprehension issues and improve the clarity, intelligibility, accessibility, and acceptability of the survey. Psychometric properties, including internal consistency of the standardized scales used as part of the survey were examined. The final survey was available to 33 countries in 16 languages.

Results: Recruitment closed on January 31, 2018. Data from 1035 CHWs were available for analysis after application of the exclusion criteria. The findings of the ECHOES survey and the wider ESTICOM project, are now available from the ESTICOM website and/or by contacting the first author.

Conclusions: The findings of this survey will help characterize, for the first time, the diverse role of CHWs who provide sexual health services to gay, bisexual, and other MSM in Europe. Importantly, the data will be used to inform the content and design of a dedicated training program for CHWs as part of the larger ESTICOM project and provide recommendations for MSM-specific strategies to improve sexual health in general and to reduce the incidence and prevalence of HIV, viral hepatitis, and other STIs in particular.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Community health worker, ECHOES, Europe, MSM, gay men, HIV, hepatitis, sexual health, sexually transmitted infections, peer support
Schools and Departments: Brighton and Sussex Medical School > Primary Care and Public Health
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Depositing User: Sonia Khan
Date Deposited: 18 Feb 2020 11:41
Last Modified: 05 Mar 2020 11:15
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/89969

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