265409 Examining patient-provider interactions which address sexuality and sexual health: An Intervention Perspective

Monday, October 29, 2012

Kristen Jozkowski, PhD , Community Health Promotion, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR
Alireza Geshnizjani, PhD, MPH, MS , Community Health Education and Recreation, University of Maine, Farmington, ME
Susan E. Middlestadt, PhD , Department of Applied Health Science, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN
Background: Sexually transmitted infections (STI) and unintended pregnancy continue to be pervasive health problems experienced by college women. Research indicates that healthcare providers can play an important role in influencing women's decisions regarding preventative sexual health behaviors including STI testing, vaccination, and condom/contraceptive use. Initiating dialogues between healthcare providers and patients regarding sexuality can be challenging. The goal of this study was to examine interactions between providers and patients in order to design theory-based interventions geared at increasing patient-provider interactions and patient engagement in preventative sexual health behaviors.

Methods: In-depth interviews were conducted with women's clinic providers using the Reasoned Action Approach at a large university. Data was transcribed verbatim and analyzed using the hierarchical content analysis inductive model.

Results: Findings indicate that aspects of the patient-provider interaction most beneficial for enhancing sexual health dialogues include: maintaining an open/accepting attitude, being willing to answer questions, utilizing a health history questionnaire, and providing unbiased information. Providers also stated that time restraints greatly limit their ability to adequately address preventative health practices especially when a more pressing issue needed to be addressed.

Implications for intervention: Public health professionals should include providers as a component of prevention interventions and utilize providers as a mechanism to increase preventative health behaviors. Structural interventions such as utilizing health history questionnaires and delegating tasks to nurses could help improve patient-provider interactions and increase provider engagement in preventative sexual health education. In addition, interventions should emphasize increasing the self-efficacy of providers to initiate conversations about sexual health.

Learning Areas:
Public health or related education
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
1. Identify factors that influenced providersí ability to address preventative health issues with their patients using the Reasoned Action Approach. 2. Understand the role of healthcare providers in increasing preventative health behaviors among their patients. 3. Explain how interventions may be able to utilize healthcare providers and other healthcare facility staff to increase preventative health behaviors.

Keywords: Sexuality, Prevention

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to be an abstract Author on the content I am responsible for because I have a PhD in Health Behavior and extensive experience working in sexual health promotion.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.

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