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Young women and sexually transmitted infection testing : investigationg the impact of clinical experiences and social context on sexual health decision-making Canso, Denise

Abstract

The study investigated how young women's clinical experiences and social context affect their participation in testing for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and their subsequent sexual behaviour. This qualitative study used a grounded theory approach to address: (i) the use of STI testing among youth; (ii) factors withhxthe health care system and social context young women perceive as affecting their health outcomes and decision-making; (iii) and the impact of testing on young women's subsequent sexual behaviour. In-depth interview data were collected from 18 female participants between the ages of 19 and 24 years within two weeks of being tested for STIs in Vancouver, Canada. Follow-up interviews were conducted 3 months after the initial interviews. Interview data were analysed to develop theoretical descriptions of key concepts, themes, and processes by which the health care system, social milieu, as well as broader structural forces affect the experiences of young women as they engage in testing for STIs. The findings provide screening program planners, clinicians and other community health service providers with helpful insights when responding to youth sexual health needs.

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