2007 Participant Summaries

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Study:
General practitioners’ use of Internet-based patient materials for partner notification

Researchers:
Tomnay JE, Pitts MK, Fairley CK

Publication:
Sexually Transmitted Diseases, 2007; 34 (8):613-6

Summary:
This study was to determine if general practitioners (GPs) would use chlamydia resources for partner notification (PN) when a link to a website was provided on positive chlamydia laboratory reports. Two surveys were carried out before and after the intervention which exposed half of the GPs included in the study to the website link on positive chlamydia laboratory reports. Of 499 eligible GPs, 233 returned completed pre-intervention surveys (48%), and 173 of 233 completed post-intervention surveys (78%). The use of partner letters increased from 13% (10/78) to 36% (28/78) and usage of brochures from 33% (26/78) to 54% (42/78) among GPs exposed to the website. There was no significant change in usage by GPs not exposed to the website. The study concluded that GPs exposed to the website link were more likely to provide resources to clients for their partners.

 



 
Study:

Experiences and Perceptions of Patients With 100% Adherence to Highly Active Antiretroviral therapy (HAART) - A Qualitative Study.

Researchers:
Sidat M, Grierson J, Fairley CK

Publication:
AIDS Patient Care and STDs 2007; 21(7): 509-520

Summary:
The aim of this study was to understand from patients’ perspectives and experiences what resulted in them having 100% adherence to HAART. In-depth interviews were conducted with 10 participants (7 men and 3 women). The study found that 100% adherence was associated with a readiness to go on HAART; HAART was viewed as a life-line and related with a willingness to live longer and healthier; ongoing patient-physician relationship; better coping and/or lack of perceived side effects; improvement in clinical condition as well as in CD4 T-cell count and viral load all reinforced the motivation to continue 100% adherence.

 



Study:
The Differing Views of Male and Female Patients toward Chaperones for Genital Examinations in a Sexual Health Setting

Researchers: 
Teague R, Newton D, Fairley CK, Hocking J, Pitts M, Bradshaw C, Chen M

Publication:
Sexually Transmitted Diseases, 2007; 34(12): 1004 - 1007

Summary:
An anonymous questionnaire was administered to patients attending Melbourne Sexual Health Centre to determine the attitudes of male and female clients to the use of chaperones during genital examination within a sexually transmitted infection clinic. Only 7% of male patients expressed the need for a chaperone when examined by a male practitioner and 6% if examined by a female practitioner. Among female patients, 27% felt the need to have a chaperone when being examined by a male practitioner compared to 6% when being examined by a female practitioner. Around one third of male and female patients indicated they would feel uncomfortable having a chaperone present regardless of whether the practitioner was male or female.




Study:
Australian sexual health practitioners’ use of chaperones for genital examinations: a survey of attitudes and practice

Researchers:
Newton DC, Fairley CK, Teague R, Donovan B, Bowden FJ, Bilardi J, Pitts M, Chen MY

Publication:
Sexual Health 2007; 4(2): 95-97

Summary:
The current practice and attitudes of Australian sexual health practitioners towards the use of chaperones for genital examinations was examined by use of an anonymous questionnaire. Of 166 questionnaires posted out to members of the Australian Chapter of Sexual Health Medicine, 110 completed the questionnaire (66%). Of these, only 9% and 19% offered chaperone services routinely for all male and female genital examinations, respectively. Among practitioners who did not offer chaperone services routinely, chaperone services were offered with a mean frequency of 19% for female examinations and 8% for male examinations (P=0.01). Significantly more male practitioners compared to female practitioners thought a chaperone was important for medico-legal purposes when examining females (72% v 53%, P=0.05). In addition, significantly more female practitioners compared to male practitioners thought a chaperone was sometimes important for reasons of support when examining male patients (52% v26%, P < 0.001). However, only 39% of male practitioners and 36% of female practitioners felt resources spent on chaperones were justified by the benefits they provided. Despite only a minority of practitioners offering chaperones to patients during examinations, many feel they are important for medico-legal reasons and support for the patient. The authors concluded that best practice may be to offer chaperone services routinely and record when the offer is declined.

 




Study:
Prevalence of sexual difficulties among female sex workers and clients attending a sexual health service

Researchers:

Thiloma Munasinghe, Richard D Hayes, Jane Hocking, Jocelyn Verry, Christopher K Fairley           

Publication:
International Journal of STD & AIDS 2007; 18: 1 - 4

Summary:
The objective of the study was to determine by anonymous survey the proportion of sex workers and non-sex workers with sexual difficulties attending Melbourne Sexual Health Centre. There were 93 female sex workers and 178 non-sex worker female clients who consented to participate in the self administered questionnaire about demographic characteristics, sexual behaviour, prevalence of sexually difficulties with their non-work related partners, distress regarding their sex life, physical pleasure, emotional satisfaction with sex and overall satisfaction with their life.

Comparing sex workers to non-sex workers; 34% v 42% respectively experienced painful sex, anorgasmia was recorded in 43% v 40%; vaginal dryness in 45% v 36%; and performance anxiety respectively (28% v 37%). Physical pleasure and emotional satisfaction with sex and overall life satisfaction was similar in both groups. Sex workers were more likely to experience sexual disinterest (odds ration 1.9; 95% CI 1.1 to 3.2), and were less likely to report being distressed about their sex life (p = 0.04). The prevalence of sexual difficulties, other than desire was similar to non-sex workers. These findings may be relevant only to sex workers operating in a highly regulated sex industry.


 

Study:
A randomised controlled trial comparing computer-assisted with face-to-face sexual history taking in a clinical setting

Researchers:
Tideman RL, Chen MY, Pitts MK, Ginige S, Slaney M, Fairley CK         

Publication:
Sexually Transmitted Infections 2007; 83: 52-56

Summary: Sexual health history taking is an important routine component of any sexual health consultation. The accuracy is important as it has direct implications on the resulting management and treatment. This randomised study evaluated computer-assisted self-interviews (CASI) compared to face-to-face interviews (FTFI) using identical predefined questions for eliciting sexual history. FTFI was the preexisting routine method for taking sexual history at Melbourne Sexual Health Centre. All participants completing CASI also underwent FTFI and the clinicians were not aware that these patients had undergone CASI. The majority of participants (95%) found CASI easy to use and 86% were comfortable using CASI. There were no differences in reported risk behaviours between CASI and FTFI except women reported considerably higher numbers of male partners using CASI. The results of this study indicated that CASI can be reliable, efficient and a highly acceptable method for screening of sexual risk in a clinic setting. CASI could be used routinely before a clinical consultation saving time and thus improving clinical efficiency of services.