Saturday, April 9, 2016

Sexual health-related information delivery: Are patient information leaflets still relevant?

Patient information leaflets (PILs) are widely utilised within publically funded sexual health clinics to deliver sexual health-related information (SHRI); however, their continued value to clients in the era of social media is unclear. This study aimed to evaluate clients' opinions on three newly developed PILs and examine client views on other forms of SHRI delivery.

An anonymous self-administered questionnaire was completed by clients attending the Western Sydney Sexual Health Centre (WSSHC) in 2012. High-risk population (HRP) vs non-high-risk population (non-HRP) views on PILs vs alternative methods of SHRI delivery were analysed by using Mann-Whitney U, Wilcoxon, McNemar and χ2 tests.

Over half (210/315; (67%)) of the consecutive clients from a culturally diverse population completed the survey. Sex workers (SW) and young people (YP) were significantly likely to have a high school education than non-HRP (P < 0.039 and P < 0.032). Overall, PILs, a clinic website and the Sexual Health Information Link (SHIL), a state-wide website and telephone line, were ranked significantly higher as a means of SHRI delivery on a Likert scale than newer technologies including Facebook (P < 0.001), email (P < 0.001), mobile phone applications (P < 0.001), TVs in waiting rooms (P < 0.001) and business cards (P < 0.001). There was no significant difference in opinion between HRP and non-HRP.

This study provides evidence for the ongoing use of PILs to deliver SHRI to clinic attendees, in conjunction with other forms of SHRI delivery such as websites and SHIL. Novel methods may require additional consumer engagement and a greater understanding of specific population's needs.

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By:  Rick Varma A B, Charles Chung A, Amanda Townsend A and Melissa Power A C 

A Western Sydney Sexual Health Centre, 162 Marsden Street, Parramatta, Sydney, NSW 2150, Australia. B Sydney Sexual Health Centre, Sydney Hospital, 8 Macquarie Street, Sydney, NSW 2000, Australia. C Corresponding author. Email: 
 2016 Feb 4. doi: 10.1071/SH15199.

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