Psychological disturbance and illness behaviour in a clinic for sexually transmitted diseases

Br J Med Psychol. 1987 Jun;60 ( Pt 2):121-6. doi: 10.1111/j.2044-8341.1987.tb02721.x.


Patients attending a sexually transmitted diseases (STD) clinic were asked to complete the General Health Questionnaire and the Illness Behaviour Questionnaire. Data were collected from 852 patients. One-third of the sample were found to score positively on the GHQ, indicating possible psychological disturbance. Women were more likely than men to score positively on the GHQ. On the General Hypochondriasis scale of the IBQ the sample's scores were higher than any other normative data except those obtained from psychiatric in-patients. On this scale homosexual and bisexual males scored significantly higher than heterosexual males. It is argued that the IBQ draws attention to important dimensions of psychological distress in STD clinics.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Homosexuality
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mental Disorders / complications*
  • Mental Disorders / diagnosis
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Sex Factors
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases / psychology*
  • Sick Role*