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A randomised controlled trial comparing computer-assisted with face-to-face sexual history taking in a clinical setting
  1. Robin L Tideman (rtideman{at}mshc.org.au)
  1. School of Population Health, The University of Melbourne, and Melbourne Sexual Health Centre, Australia
    1. Marcus Y Chen (mchen{at}mshc.org.au)
    1. School of Population Health, The University of Melbourne, and Melbourne Sexual Health Centre, Australia
      1. Marion K Pitts
      1. Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society, Latrobe University, Australia
        1. Samitha Ginige (sginige{at}mshc.org.au)
        1. School of Population Health, The University of Melbourne, and Melbourne Sexual Health Centre, Australia
          1. Margaret Slaney
          1. School of Population Health, The University of Melbourne, and Melbourne Sexual Health Centre, Australia
            1. Christopher K Fairley (cfairley{at}mshc.org.au)
            1. School of Population Health, The University of Melbourne, and Melbourne Sexual Health Centre, Australia

              Abstract

              Aim: The aim of this study was to compare computer-assisted self interview (CASI) with routine face-to-face interview (FTFI) for sexual history taking from patients in a clinical setting.

              Methods: A randomised controlled trial was undertaken at the Melbourne Sexual Health Centre, Australia in 2005. New, walk-in patients triaged into the centre were eligible for the study. Those who consented to the study were randomly allocated (initially in a ratio of 2:1, then 1:1) to either CASI or FTFI. Those randomised to CASI also subsequently undertook FTFI.

              Results: During the study period, of 713 patients approached, 611 agreed to participate in the study; 356 were randomized to FTFI and 255 to CASI. Overall, the responses to questioning using CASI and FTFI were similar except that women undertaking the CASI reported a significantly higher median number of male partners for the preceding 12 months (3 versus 2, p=0.05) and the CASI participants reported previous hepatitis B vaccination more frequently (50% vs. 37%, p=0.01). Most participants found the CASI either easy (31(13%)) or very easy (193 (82%)) to complete; 83 (35%) were comfortable and 121 (51%) were very comfortable with it.

              Conclusions: CASI may be a reliable, efficient, and highly acceptable method for the screening of sexual risk within clinical sexual health settings and could be employed routinely to improve the efficiency of clinical services.

              • CASI
              • sexual behaviour
              • sexual history taking

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