An examination of STI testing influences for young people in primary care
- Principal Investigator: Lorraine McDonagh
- 1 April 2016 to 31 January 2017
- Project No: 323
- Funding round: FR 11
Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are a major health challenge. In 2014, there were around 440,000 diagnoses of STIs made in England. Young people have the highest rates of infections such as chlamydia. Many STIs do not have symptoms and if left untreated can lead to long term damage such as pelvic inflammatory disease and infertility. It is recommended that sexually active young people get checked for STIs once a year and when they change their sexual partner. Most young people attend their general practice once a year. Although general practice is one place to get a STI test, many people still do not get tested.
Previous research aimed at encouraging young people to get tested in general practice has not been very successful. We need to understand why this is the case, therefore, we are currently looking at different views about STI testing, including face to face interviews with young people and health professionals. In this study we will carry out an online survey to find out more about the reasons why young people do (or do not) get tested at their practice. We will include questions about other issues related to sexual health, such as sexual experience, knowledge of STIs, stigma, and attitudes towards health services. All information gathered will be anonymous and confidential. We will analyse the results to identify important factors associated with STI testing.
We will then summarise our findings and present them with the results of our other study to the Department of Health, Public Health England, and other organisations working with young people. Our findings will be used to help to develop better ways to increase testing for STIs.
Amount awarded: £41,947