An Assessment of Patient-Provider Communication Regarding Sexually Transmitted Infections Among Female Young Adults




Griner, Stacey
Lee, Janet


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Purpose: To assess the importance of patient-provider communication regarding STI self-sampling methods among college-age women. Methods: Data were collected and analyzed from female college students aged 18-24 years (n=88). Measures of patient-provider communication included ranking the importance of not talking to a provider before STI screening. Response options were on a five-point Likert scale (not at all important to extremely important), which was treated as a continuous variable. Differences in importance ranking were explored by demographic factors, such as race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and previous receipt of STI screening. T-tests were used to determine mean differences in importance by demographic factors. Results: The mean sample age was 19.9 (SD=1.4); 67% were white, 75% non-Hispanic, and 66% heterosexual. 25% of participants felt it was extremely important that they did not have to talk to a provider first when seeking STI self-sampling methods. No significant differences were noted in the importance of not having to talk to a provider before screening by race (p=.633), ethnicity (p=.725), sexual orientation (p=.997), or previous receipt of STI screening (.231). Conclusions: This study represents new inquiry into the importance of STI self-sampling methods among college-age women. Although no significant differences were noted based on demographic factors in this analysis, women often go unscreened due to fear of judgment from healthcare providers. Further research into the utility of STI self-sampling methods may still prove invaluable to address the persistent issue of undetected STIs in women.