Background/introduction Specialist clinics have been introduced in a number of specialities, but patient benefits have proved difficult to demonstrate, despite increased investigations and costs. Genital herpes requires extensive counselling which previous studies have demonstrated is often of poor quality.
Aim(s)/objectives To assess the value of a specialist genital herpes clinic, in terms of patient satisfaction and outcomes, in comparison with a general genitourinary medicine clinic at a UK level 3 sexual health service in patients with a diagnosis of first episode genital herpes.
Methods 200 patient records of those attending a UK level 3 sexual health service with first episode herpes between 2012–2013 attending a specialist or general clinic were reviewed to assess initial management, complicating factors, and subsequent health seeking behaviour. 20 patients with a recent diagnosis of herpes attending either a specialist or general clinic were interviewed to determine patient satisfaction, and information provided on a number of key counselling topics identified by the BASHH herpes guidelines.
Results Provisional results from 79 patients demonstrate that those attending the specialist clinic were more likely to have complicating factors, including pregnancy, and psychological distress. Return to clinic with recurrences was 20% for the specialist and 15% for the general clinic. Full results will be available by the conference.
Discussion/conclusion Patients attending a specialist herpes clinic presented with more complicating factors, but despite this there was little difference between patient outcomes and satisfaction between clinics. Specialist herpes clinics may therefore be useful to manage more complex patients.
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