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Sexually transmitted disease and family planning counselling of psychiatric patients in New Zealand.

Authors
  • Coverdale, J1
  • Falloon, I
  • Turbott, S
  • 1 Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Science, Faculty of Medicine and Health Science, University of Auckland, New Zealand. , (New Zealand)
Type
Published Article
Journal
The Australian and New Zealand journal of psychiatry
Publication Date
Apr 01, 1997
Volume
31
Issue
2
Pages
285–290
Identifiers
PMID: 9140638
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

The authors aimed to determine the attitudes and behaviors of mental health professionals (MHPs), including psychiatrists, towards identifying and reducing their own patients' risk for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and unwanted pregnancies. 102 of all of the 162 MHPs serving predominantly chronically psychiatrically ill adult outpatients and inpatients in Waitemata district responded to an anonymous questionnaire (response rate = 63%) concerning their own attitudes and behaviors towards identifying and counseling patients on their risk for STDs and unwanted pregnancies. MHPs reported that, on average, they had counseled 14% of their male patients and 21% of their female patients on STDs, including AIDS prevention, and that more of their patients were at risk than were counseled. They also reported that they had counseled 5% of their male patients and 17% of their female patients about family planning. 42% of MHPs indicated that they had insufficient knowledge about STDs to educate patients, 72% indicated that when it came to risky sexual behaviors chronic psychiatric patients were much the same as other people, and 33% or more felt uncomfortable discussing topics of condom use and patients' sexual preferences. These results suggest that family planning and STD preventive interventions for psychiatric patients need to overcome MHPs' own barriers to risk prevention.

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