Sexual health risk assessment and counseling in primary care: how involved are general practitioners and obstetrician-gynecologists?

Am J Public Health. 1999 Jun;89(6):899-902. doi: 10.2105/ajph.89.6.899.


Objectives: This study examined physicians' evaluation of sexual health risks during a general medical examination and sexually transmitted disease (STD) counseling during consultations for adolescent contraception and treatment of an STD.

Methods: An anonymous mail survey was conducted in 1995 with a stratified random sample of 1086 general practitioners and all 241 obstetrician-gynecologists practicing in Quebec, Canada.

Results: Fewer than half of the respondents reported routinely inquiring about condom use and number of sexual partners during a general medical examination. Female general practitioners engaged in more sexual health risk assessment and counseling than male general practitioners.

Conclusions: This study suggests a low level of involvement in STD prevention by generalists and obstetrician-gynecologists.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Counseling / methods*
  • Family Practice / methods*
  • Female
  • Gynecology / methods*
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Medical History Taking / methods*
  • Obstetrics / methods*
  • Physician's Role*
  • Primary Health Care / methods*
  • Quebec
  • Risk Assessment
  • Sex Education / methods*
  • Sexual Behavior*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires