Increasing access to sexual health care for rural and regional young people: similarities and differences in the views of young people and service providers

Johnston, Karen, Harvey, Caroline, Matich, Paula, Page, Priscilla, Jukka, Clare, Hollins, Jane, and Larkins, Sarah (2015) Increasing access to sexual health care for rural and regional young people: similarities and differences in the views of young people and service providers. Australian Journal of Rural Health, 23 (5). pp. 257-264.

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Abstract

Objective: This study aims to describe the views of sexual health service providers on access issues for young people and consider them together with the views of young people themselves.

Design: A cross-sectional mixed-methods study design involving semi-structured interviews with health service providers and an electronic survey with young people.

Setting: Four towns in rural and regional Queensland, Australia.

Participants: A total of 32 service providers: 9 sexual health nurses, 8 general practitioners, 6 school-based youth health nurses, 5 sexual health educators, 2 Australian Aboriginal health workers and 2 youth workers. There were 391 young people who participated in the Young People's Survey.

Main outcome measures: Themes generated from interviews with service providers and quantitative data from young people addressing access to sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services for rural and regional young people.

Results: Service providers frequently identified structural barriers, confidentiality and lack of awareness of SRH services as barriers for young people seeking SRH care. Young people also reported that structural factors such as transport, cost and service operating hours were important; however, they placed greater value on personal attributes of service providers, particularly welcoming and non-judgemental attitudes.

Conclusion: Health service policy and training focused on attitudinal qualities of individual service providers may improve access to SRH services for young people. Selective staff recruitment and professional development are important to increase sensitivity to youth issues. Promotion of non-judgemental and confidential care may also improve access for youth.

Item ID: 39013
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1440-1584
Keywords: youth, adolescents, sexual health, access, barriers, primary health care, rural, regional
Funders: Queensland Health, Family Planning Queensland
Date Deposited: 16 Jul 2015 02:11
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111717 Primary Health Care @ 100%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9205 Specific Population Health (excl. Indigenous Health) > 920506 Rural Health @ 100%
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