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Health and Life Concerns Among Patients Attending a Publicly Funded Sexually Transmitted Infection Clinic

Carey, Michael P. PhD; Senn, Theresa E. PhD

Journal of Public Health Management and Practice: January/February 2013 - Volume 19 - Issue 1 - p E30–E34
doi: 10.1097/PHH.0b013e31822d4bd5
Original Articles

Objectives: Sexually transmitted infection (STI) clinics provide opportune settings in which to address a range of health concerns with an underserved population. The current research sought to identify and prioritize patients' health and social concerns.

Design and Setting: Patients attending a publicly funded STI clinic (50% female, 62% African American) were invited to participate in a cross-sectional study. Participants completed a brief paper-and-pencil questionnaire.

Participants: Participants were 150 patients attending the STI clinic.

Main Outcome Measure: A survey of health and social concerns.

Results: Participants rated STIs, human immunodeficiency virus/AIDS, teeth problems, and eye problems as their most concerning health problems. Other than STI-related concerns, patients expressed few concerns about their somatic health. Instead, these (mostly younger) patients expressed more concern about economic issues.

Conclusions: Sexually transmitted infection clinics provide a unique setting to provide health and mental health services to an at-need, underserved population; however, patients may prefer assistance with economic issues.

This study describes health and life concerns of an at-need, underserved population attending a publicly funded sexually transmitted infection clinic. It also sought to identify and prioritize patients' health and social concerns.

Centers for Behavioral and Preventive Medicine, The Miriam Hospital and Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island and the Center for Health and Behavior, Syracuse University, Syracuse, New York.

Correspondence: Michael P. Carey, PhD, Centers for Behavioral and Preventive Medicine, The Miriam Hospital and Brown University, The Warren Alpert School of Medicine, Coro Building, Suite 314, One Hoppin St, Providence, RI 02903 (Michael_Carey@brown.edu).

This research was supported by NIH grant # R01- MH068171 to Michael P. Carey.

The authors thank the patients who participated in the research, the clinic staff, the Health Improvement Project team members, and the Monroe County Health Department for granting the research team access to their STI clinic.

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

© 2013 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.