Populations at Risk Across the Life-span: Case Studies
Sexually Transmitted Disease Testing Misconceptions Threaten the Validity of Self-Reported Testing History
Article first published online: 22 NOV 2012
© 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Public Health Nursing
Volume 30, Issue 2, pages 117–127, March/April 2013
How to Cite
Royer, H. R., Falk, E. C. and Heidrich, S. M. (2013), Sexually Transmitted Disease Testing Misconceptions Threaten the Validity of Self-Reported Testing History. Public Health Nursing, 30: 117–127. doi: 10.1111/phn.12013
- Issue published online: 4 MAR 2013
- Article first published online: 22 NOV 2012
- Manuscript Accepted: 9 OCT 2012
- Manuscript Revised: 3 OCT 2012
- Manuscript Received: 26 JUL 2012
- sexually transmitted diseases;
- women's health
Sexually transmitted disease (STD) testing is fundamental to STD prevention and control. We sought to comprehensively examine young women's beliefs about the STD testing process.
Design and Sample
Descriptive, cross-sectional, survey investigation. Women aged 18–24 (n = 302) drawn from four women's health clinics and one university classroom.
Participants completed the RoTEST, which measures five domains of women's STD testing beliefs and a demographic survey.
Many women believed they would be screened for all STDs when they receive STD testing (40%) and that visual inspection by a provider was a valid method of STD screening for gonorrhea (35%), chlamydia (32%) and HSV (77%). More than a quarter believed that a Pap test screens for gonorrhea (23%) and chlamydia (26%). Twenty-one percent reported that discussing STD testing with a provider is difficult and most reported feeling more comfortable seeking STD testing from an STD specialist rather than a family doctor (79%).
Young women have numerous misconceptions about the STD testing process that may interfere with the validity of their self-reported STD testing history and subsequently undermine public health efforts to improve STD prevention and control. Innovative approaches to educating women about the testing process are needed.