Article Text

Download PDFPDF

O34 Binge drinking, smoking and experience of intimate partner violence among women aged 16–44 years attending sexual health clinics
  1. Natalie Edelman1,2,
  2. Jennifer Whetham3,
  3. Catherine Mercer4,
  4. Jackie Cassell1,4,
  5. Richard de Visser5
  1. 1Brighton and Sussex Medical School, Brighton and Hove, East Sussex, UK
  2. 2University of Brighton, Brighton and Hove, East Sussex, UK
  3. 3Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust, Brighton and Hove, East Sussex, UK
  4. 4University College London, London, UK
  5. 5University of Sussex, Brighton and Hove, East Sussex, UK


Introduction BASHH guidance includes assessment of smoking history, intimate partner violence and alcohol risk in Sexual Health (SH) clinics. As part of a study assessing psychosocial predictors of sexual risk among women of reproductive age, we investigated the prevalence of these issues and their associations with sexual risk.

Methods A convenience sample of women aged 16–44 years attending a busy urban integrated Contraception and Sexual Health clinic was invited to complete a questionnaire about socio-demographic, sexual behaviour and psychosocial factors.

Results Of n=532 eligible women 44.5% were aged 16–24 years. 42.1% of participants reported binge-drinking (6+ units on one occasion) on a weekly basis. 36.7% reported currently smoking cigarettes or roll-ups. Using an adapted HITS domestic violence (DV) measure, 16.1% were classified as currently or previously experiencing DV. None of these factors was associated with reported risk of unintended pregnancy in the last 6 months. Multiple partnerships in the last year was not associated with DV experience (p=0.187) but remained positively associated, after adjustment for age, with current weekly binge-drinking (adjusted odds ratio = 2.13) and with current smoking (AOR =1.87).

Discussion Findings suggest that interventions for binge-drinking, cigarette smoking and DV may be warranted for a substantial minority of women attending SH clinics. In particular observed associations between binge-drinking, cigarette smoking and multiple partnerships may point towards broader lifestyle choices that could be addressed concomitantly in SH clinics to help reduce sexual risk behaviour.

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.