Patient acceptability and satisfaction of sexual health service provision
in primary care
G. Murdoch (1), C. Renwick (1), A. Doherty (1), L. Holdsworth (2)
Airthrey Park Medical Centre, University of Stirling, Scotland, UK (1);
Forth Valley Primary Care NHS Trust, Larbert, Scotland, UK (2)
Introduction: Airthrey Park Medical Centre is a practice within the
University of Stirling providing healthcare services to primarily a student
population of 7037. In April 2002, as part of a Personal Medical Services Pilot,
an in-house Sexual Health Service was introduced. Its purpose was to provide
comprehensive sexual health services at a primary care level. Over the last year,
the clinic has been attended by 574 students (317 females, 257 males).
Objective: One aspect of the evaluation of the clinic involved
examining the acceptability and user satisfaction rates of the service. In
particular, the acceptability of waiting and clinic times, access to chaperones
and condom provision. An indication of effectiveness was also measured by
establishing the extent to which the patients needs had been met.
Design and Methods: Questionnaires were given to all attending the
clinic between April – December 2003 (190). To assure anonymity and encourage
response, completed questionnaires were returned by Freepost to the Clinical
Effectiveness Support Service (CESS) of Forth Valley Primary Care Trust. A
response rate of 78% (147) was achieved. The questionnaires were analysed by
CESS using PinPoint Software (Longtron, 1997).
Results: The overall results indicated that the service was highly
regarded. 86.5% of patients were satisfied with when the clinics were held and
95% finding the waiting time for appointments acceptable. Virtually all
respondents stated that condoms should be made freely available at the clinic,
within both treatment room and toilets. All respondents reported being seen by a
doctor of the same sex as themselves with no one reporting that would have
preferred having a chaperone present. 71.5% of respondents reported that their
needs had been met completely, 14.9% nearly and 11.5% to some extent. Only 2% of
the respondents stated that their needs had not been met at all.
Conclusions: The study shows that not only are Sexual Health Services
in Primary Care acceptable but they would appear to be effective in meeting the
perceived sexual health needs of patients. This is an important issue. The
workload associated with Sexual Health Services in the United Kingdom is
increasing. The results of this study would appear to support the recently
published Draft Sexual Health Strategy in Scotland, which encourages Primary
Care providers to offer a service for sexual health. Based on the results above,
it could be suggested that this strategy would be acceptable within other
similar client groups.