Psychiatric health in a sexually transmitted infections clinic: effect on reattendance

J Psychosom Res. 2002 Apr;52(4):267-72. doi: 10.1016/s0022-3999(01)00299-9.


Background and objectives: Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) remain a public health priority, but associated psychological morbidity has recently been ignored. One aspect of STI control is test of cure and further treatment at follow-up clinic appointments. We chose reattendance rates as a measure of compliance and assessed whether reattendance was related to psychological morbidity.

Methods: 938 STI clinic patients were offered the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HAD) and staff rated each patient's psychological health. Predictors of attendance, caseness and staff recognition were assessed by logistic regression.

Results: 401/774 [51.9%; 95% confidence interval (CI): 48.3-55.4%] patients, who completed the HAD, scored above threshold. Staff rated 151/743 (20.4%) patients as having "psychological problems." HAD caseness was not associated with attending arranged follow-up [adjusted odds ratio (adj. OR): 0.83 (0.49-2.05)]. Patients rated with psychological problems by staff were more likely to attend [adj. OR: 1.91 (1.02-3.60)].

Conclusions: Half of our sample had significant anxiety and staff should be more aware of this suffering. Our work suggests that such awareness might improve subsequent attendance.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Ambulatory Care
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mental Health*
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care / psychology*
  • Patient Compliance / psychology
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases / psychology*
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases / therapy