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Acceptability and feasibility of sexual health screening in psychiatry inpatients
  1. Nicole Needham1,2,
  2. Amy Mathews1,
  3. Kenneth Murphy1,
  4. Jackie Paterson3,
  5. Yvonne McFarlane3,
  6. Katie Humphries3,
  7. Alison Milne4,
  8. Stephen Lawrie1,2
  1. 1 Psychiatry, NHS Lothian, Edinburgh, UK
  2. 2 Centre for Clinical Brain Sciences, The University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK
  3. 3 Genitourinary Medicine, NHS Lothian, Edinburgh, UK
  4. 4 Screening and Early Detection, NHS Lothian, Edinburgh, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Nicole Needham, Psychiatry, NHS Lothian, Edinburgh, EH1 3EG, UK; nicole.needham{at}

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Parity in mental and physical health should include at least adequate physical healthcare in psychiatric patients, including oft-neglected sexual health. Several studies suggest an increased prevalence of STIs in people with serious mental illness.1–4 Multiple factors may account for this, and standard STI prevention interventions are not always helpful.5 We sought to understand whether psychiatric inpatients would welcome opportunistic sexual health assessments and the practicalities of delivering the assessments.

Eligible patients were those admitted to general adult psychiatry wards (age range 18–65) at the Royal Edinburgh Hospital (REH) with capacity to consent. They took part in a semistructured interview about sexual history and were offered testing for HIV, syphilis, chlamydia and gonorrhoea.

The study recruited 57 of 113 (50.4%) patients approached. Of 57 participants, 26 (45.6%) were women and 31 (54.4%) were men, and the median age was 34 (range 19–61). The most common primary psychiatric conditions were bipolar disorder (n=10), personality disorder (n=10), depressive disorder (n=7) and schizophrenia (n=6). Most were in the hospital informally (n=40, 70.2%), in keeping with the requirement for them to have capacity, but raising the possibility results may be …

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  • Handling editor Anna Maria Geretti

  • Contributors All authors met all four ICMJE criteria for authorship. NN. was responsible for conception of the work, with input from SL and JP. NN, AM, and KM were responsible for undertaking clinical interviews and collecting data. YM, KH and JP were responsible for providing advice from the sexual health centre when needed. AM provided support for the cervical screening aspect of the study. NN and AM were responsible for analysis and interpretation of the data and drafting of the paper. All of the above were involved in subsequent revisions, and agree to be accountable for all aspects of the work.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.