Objective: To evaluate a staff-administered questionnaire to identify life-style issues and social-health determinants.
Design: Structured questionnaire administered by a health professional after dealing with the primary reason for attendance.
Setting: Community-based UK sexual and reproductive health service.
Population: First 1329 selected clinic patients comprising 1018 women attending Family Planning and 161 women plus 150 men attending Genitourinary Medicine; 47% were aged under 25.
Main outcome measures: Identification of relevant health-risk taking, life-style issues, and unaddressed health concerns. Participants were offered appropriate support, information and referrals.
Results: Two hundred and sixty-four (23%) of the Family Planning women and 83 (52%) of the Genitourinary Medicine women [plus 103 (69%) of the men] reported two or more sexual partners in the last year. A third of participants denied regular condom use. Six per cent of women and 5% of men questioned had previously been forced to have sex. Eleven per cent of men admitted to having paid for sex and 9% of women disclosed physical assault (one-quarter in the home). Eight per cent of women and 7% of men had unresolved issues relating to previous miscarriage, termination, or stillbirth.
Conclusions: It is possible to identify relevant life-style issues and social determinants of health during routine practice using a staff-administered questionnaire. The resulting information may not otherwise have been disclosed and may impact significantly on health and care delivery. The information collected provides opportunities for both individuals and service planners to address wider health needs.