Heather Shield, RN.
Sexual health knowledge and risk behaviour in young people with first episode psychosis
Article first published online: 16 MAY 2005
International Journal of Mental Health Nursing
Volume 14, Issue 2, pages 149–154, June 2005
How to Cite
Shield, H., Fairbrother, G. and Obmann, H. (2005), Sexual health knowledge and risk behaviour in young people with first episode psychosis. International Journal of Mental Health Nursing, 14: 149–154. doi: 10.1111/j.1440-0979.2005.00372.x
- Issue published online: 16 MAY 2005
- Article first published online: 16 MAY 2005
- Accepted December 2004.
- risk behaviours;
- safe sex;
- sexual health
ABSTRACT: The sexual health of clients has been poorly addressed by mental health service providers and sexually transmissible infection (STI) incidence rates are increasing among young people. A self-report questionnaire was used to gather information in order to describe and to conduct a cross-sectional analysis of sexual health knowledge, risk behaviour and STI screening history among young people who have experienced a first episode of psychosis, who present to community-based early psychosis programmes in south-eastern Sydney. STI knowledge was fair and sexual risk practice knowledge was poor regarding anal and oral sex. Women reported significantly more sexual partners than men. When those young people who had had unsafe sex attended for STI screens only, 5% received a complete screen. The survey result indicates a need for sexual health screening education to be conducted for clients. Against a background of escalating rates of HIV, STIs and high risk-taking behaviours among young people, it is essential that mental health staff are provided with the skills and education to address sexual health and harm minimization issues.