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Keywords:

  • healthcare professionals;
  • nursing;
  • qualitative research;
  • sexually transmitted infections;
  • women’s health

Aim.  This paper reports the healthcare experiences of women who have been diagnosed with a sexually transmitted infection.

Background.  The incidence of sexually transmitted infections is increasing throughout the globe on an annual basis. To effectively curb this trend and reduce the spread of these infections, effective education and treatment is essential.

Design.  This study used a feminist approach.

Methods.  Ten women participated in this study. Interviews were conducted online and transcripts were thematically analysed.

Results.  Findings from this study revealed that the women generally characterised their healthcare experiences as negative. Some women perceived being negatively judged by healthcare professionals and felt they were not provided with sufficient information or support when diagnosed with a sexually transmitted infection.

Conclusion.  This paper reveals how healthcare professionals have the ability to exacerbate the adversity felt by women diagnosed with a sexually transmitted infection and how providing appropriate therapeutic care can assist young women who have been diagnosed with these types of infections.

Relevance to clinical practice.  Nurses and other healthcare professionals can better serve patients by providing emotional and therapeutic support and information about the possible effects and long-term sequelae of sexually transmitted infections. Further, by providing sufficient information and support, the negative effects of having a sexually transmitted infection can be reduced and women’s ability to cope with a sexually transmitted infection can be enhanced.