Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://hdl.handle.net/1959.11/3570
Title: Does physician bias affect the quality of care they deliver?: Evidence in the care of sexually transmitted diseases
Contributor(s): Khan, Asaduzzaman (author); Plummer, D (author); Hussain, Rafat  (author); Minichiello, Victor  (author)
Publication Date: 2008
DOI: 10.1136/sti.2007.028050
Handle Link: https://hdl.handle.net/1959.11/3570
Abstract: Background: Primary care providers are well placed to control the spread of sexually transmitted infections (STI); however, care is likely to be influenced by their attitudes and beliefs. The present study investigates the relationship between general practitioner’s (GP) self-reported level of comfort in dealing with patients with STI and the care they deliver. Methods: A postal survey was conducted using a stratified random sample of 15% of GPs practising in New South Wales, Australia, to assess practitioners’ management of STI. A total of 409 GPs participated in the study yielding a response rate of 45.4%. Results: Although over two-thirds (69–72%) of GPs were comfortable in managing STI in heterosexual or young patients, fewer than half (40–46%) felt comfortable caring for patients who were sex workers, indigenous, people who inject drugs, gay or lesbian. Practitioners who were comfortable were more likely to offer sexual risk assessment, safe-sex counselling, and were less likely to report limited ability to influence patients’ risk behaviours. Practitioner discomfort was positively associated with reporting constraints in sexual history-taking and the need for training in sexual health. Conclusions: Practitioners' care and support for patients with STI are influenced by their inexperience, lack of skills and/or attitudes. The reasons for GP discomfort in managing STI patients need further exploration as does its impact on patient care.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: Sexually Transmitted Infections, 84(2), p. 150-151
Publisher: BMJ Publishing Group
Place of Publication: London, UK
ISSN: 1368-4973
Field of Research (FOR): 111712 Health Promotion
Socio-Economic Outcome Codes: 920413 Social Structure and Health
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
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