Evaluation of sexual health program : client survey / by Alexandria Kells.
Master of Public Health
MetadataShow full item record
Study area : Simco Muskoka District Health Unit (Ontario) service area.The purpose of this study was to examine the opinions of current clients of the sexual health clinics operated by the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit (SMDHU) concerning the existing delivery of clinic service. The SMDHU is mandated to provide contraceptive and sexually transmitted infection (STI) services for vulnerable groups, including adolescents. Contraceptive services are limited to those aged 20 and younger, while STI services are provided for all ages. The SMDHU has targeted the adolescent population for its sexual health services, particularly its birth control services, as youth are among those at highest risk of negative consequences associated with unplanned pregnancies and STIs. Study objectives were to determine the types of service that the clients of the sexual health clinics felt they required; to determine which aspects of service the clients perceived as most important; and to determine the level of client satisfaction with the clinic locations, service availability, confidentiality, as well as staff attitudes and knowledge. A survey was developed by the researcher to obtain information from clinic clients including demographics, the specific needs that prompted a clinic visit and the reasons for choosing the sexual health clinic to meet these needs. Respondents were asked to choose and rank the most important aspects of clinic service and to evaluate satisfaction with wait time, clinic location, ease of access, staff attitudes, confidentiality and satisfaction with treatment received. Open-ended questions included the opportunity to provide an opinion about the clinic location and a question asking what was most and least liked about the clinic visit. Data were collected from 161 clinic clients over a 12 week period, with participants from each of the seven clinic locations. The age of respondents ranged from 13 to 63 years of age with a mean age of 22 and a median age of 20 years. The majority of clinic visits were made for STI testing or treatment (59.6%), with 36% seeking birth control, and 6.2% of clients wanting counselling or information. The proportion of STI visits increased with client age, while younger clients were more likely to attend clinic for birth control services. The most important and best liked features of the clinic service were found to be the availability of a female provider, the respectful, non-judgemental attitudes of clinic staff, the comfortable clinic atmosphere, confidentiality and the ability to receive the desired care or treatment. Overall client satisfaction was high. The majority of participants were pleased with the clinic location, the speed of service, the availability of clinic appointments, the level of confidentiality and the care received. Most survey respondents indicated satisfaction with staff attitudes, knowledge and behaviour. Study recommendations include strengthening community partnerships to better coordinate delivery of sexual health services, increasing the advertising of clinic services, and expansion of services to Huntsville. In order to continue to provide services in an appropriate and sensitive manner, the sexual health program must continue to support staff development through in-services and opportunities for staff to attend conferences dealing with adolescent sexuality. Further research should include surveying youth and adolescents in the community to assess the level of awareness of clinic service, the accessibility of current clinic locations, and the perceived sexual health needs of the target population. Another important area for future research is to evaluate the outcomes of sexual health clinic service including increased knowledge and intent to practice safer sex.