Risk Assessment Practices of Texas Private Practitioners for Sexually Transmitted Diseases

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Abstract of Journal Article -- June 2004

By Sharon K. Melville, MD, MPH; Sonia I. Arbona , PhD; Cheryl L.E. Jablonski , MA; Lois I. Kantor , MPH; James H. Lee; Caeli Paradise; and Debra Bement Seamans , MSN, RN

This study describes the sexually transmitted disease (STD) risk assessment practices of a sample of private primary care practitioners in Texas. Elicitation of sexual history was not universal when these clinicians took the health history of their patients. Only 40% of the practices reported conducting a risk assessment for STD with all of their patients. In general, practices in obstetrics and gynecology, physicians providing care for persons infected with human immunodeficiency virus, and female physicians were more likely to indicate that they assess all of their patients for risks of STD. More than 90% of the practitioners conduct risk assessment for STD with all of those patients perceived to be at risk, but the criteria used for determining those patients vary greatly among practitioners. Private physicians in Texas provide care for a large proportion of individuals afflicted with STDs; our findings raise concerns about the lack of uniformity in the process of identifying patients at risk for STD.

 

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