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.
- sexual behaviour
- sexual history taking
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