The Effects of Ethnicity and Characteristics of Practitioners on Disclosure of Sexually Sensitive Information
Advisor:von Sadovszky, Victoria
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Publisher:The Ohio State University
Series/Report no.:The Ohio State University. College of Nursing Honors Theses; 2011
Purpose: The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC], 2010) reports 19 million new sexually transmitted infections (STIs) each year. It is vital that patients fully disclose their sexual health history and concerns to healthcare practitioners in order to receive appropriate care; yet data suggests that patients do not fully disclose sexual health information to their healthcare practitioners (Sankar & Jones, 2005). Patients cite practitioner characteristics (age, gender, and ethnicity) as one barrier to disclosing sexual health information (Gott & Hinchliff, 2003; Sankar & Jones, 2005). The purpose of this secondary analysis is to extend these findings and examine the relationship between ethnicity and the practitioner characteristics of gender, ethnicity and practitioner role on patients’ likelihood to fully disclose sexual health information. Methods: This secondary analysis is part of a parent study examining the relationship between ethnicity, ethnic identity, and tolerance of infidelity among college women at risk for HIV. The sample for this and the larger study was from a large Midwestern university. The sample consisted of 78 African- and European-American sexually active female college students (ages 18 – 30 years). All undergraduate women in the university’s system received an electronic newsletter advertising the study. Interested women contacted the PI for study information. Those interested in the study accessed secure, online questionnaires. For this analysis questionnaires about ethnic identity and disclosure of sexual health information to health care practitioners (nurse or physician) who vary in gender (female or male) and ethnicity (African- or European-American). Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics and t-tests. Conclusions: Both African American and Caucasian women preferred female providers regardless of practitioner role or race. African American women reported more sensitivity to practitioner race and gender than Caucasian women. Patients comfort level with disclosing sexual health information should be assessed in an attempt to match them with a provider they are most comfortable with in order to encourage complete and honest disclosure of sexual health information.
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