The Open UniversitySkip to content
 

How do young adults perceive the risk of chlamydia infection? A qualitative study

Newby, Katie V.; Wallace, Louise M. and French, David P. (2012). How do young adults perceive the risk of chlamydia infection? A qualitative study. British Journal of Health Psychology, 17(1) pp. 144–154.

DOI (Digital Object Identifier) Link: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.2044-8287.2011.02027.x
Google Scholar: Look up in Google Scholar

Abstract

Objectives. This study aimed to improve understanding of how young UK genito-urinary medicine (GUM) patients perceive the risk of chlamydia, and identify implications for health education. Design. A qualitative methodology was chosen. Methods. Semi-structured interviews with 27 respondents aged 16-22 years old were conducted. Data were subjected to thematic analysis. Results. Respondents made assessments of the perceived seriousness of, and their personal susceptibility to, chlamydia infection. Judgements about seriousness were related to beliefs about the controllability of symptoms and the long-term health consequences of infection. Susceptibility estimates were related to beliefs about the extent to which personal exposure put them in contact with chlamydia, and about the prevalence of infection amongst their peer group. This is consistent with the content of illness risk representations proposed by Cameron (2003). Respondents demonstrated some beliefs, which appeared to influence perceptions of seriousness and susceptibility in unhelpful ways. Conclusions. Young people may be underestimating their risk of chlamydia infection due to the presence of unhelpful beliefs. Dialogue between health professionals and patients within GUM clinics, or through consultations as part of the National Chlamydia Screening Programme (NCSP), could provide vehicles to deliver health education to target these. Suggested health education includes highlighting false reassurance provided by treatment beliefs and exposing the fallibility of using overt characteristics to judge the likelihood that a potential sexual partner poses a risk of infection.

Item Type: Journal Item
Copyright Holders: 2011 The British Psychological Society
ISSN: 2044-8287
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies (WELS)
Item ID: 46566
Depositing User: Louise Wallace
Date Deposited: 14 Jun 2016 09:26
Last Modified: 07 Dec 2018 10:41
URI: http://oro.open.ac.uk/id/eprint/46566
Share this page:

Metrics

Altmetrics from Altmetric

Citations from Dimensions

Actions (login may be required)

Policies | Disclaimer

© The Open University   contact the OU