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How social representations of sexually transmitted infections influence experiences of genito-urinary symptoms and care-seeking in Britain: mixed methods study protocol.

Mapp F, Hickson F, Mercer CH, Wellings K - BMC Public Health (2016)

Bottom Line: Social understandings of sexually transmitted infections and associated symptoms and care-seeking behaviour continue to lag behind advancements in biomedical diagnostics and treatment, perpetuating the burden of disease.It adds explanatory potential to existing national survey data and is likely to inform future surveys about sexual health.Given the current uncertainty around service provision in Britain, this study provides timely data about symptom experiences and care-seeking behaviour which may inform future commissioning of sexual healthcare.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Social and Environmental Health Research, Faculty of Public Health and Policy, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, London, UK. Fiona.Mapp@lshtm.ac.uk.

ABSTRACT

Background: Social understandings of sexually transmitted infections and associated symptoms and care-seeking behaviour continue to lag behind advancements in biomedical diagnostics and treatment, perpetuating the burden of disease. There is a lack of research linking perceptions, experiences and care-seeking for sexual health issues, especially research conducted outside of medical settings. We aim to explore lay perceptions of STIs and how these influence experiences of genito-urinary symptoms and associated care-seeking behaviour, in women and men in Britain.

Methods and design: This study adopts a participant-selection variant of the explanatory sequential mixed methods design to incorporate quantitative and qualitative strands. We use data from Britain's third National Survey of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles (n = 15,162) to analyse national patterns of symptom experience and care-seeking, and to identify a purposive qualitative sample. Semi-structured interviews (n = 27) following up with survey participants include a novel flash card activity providing qualitative data about infection perceptions, symptom experiences and decisions about healthcare. Quantitative and qualitative data are analysed separately using complex survey analyses and principles of Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis respectively. Data are then integrated in a subsequent phase of analysis using matrices to compare, contrast and identify silences from each method.

Discussion: This is an ongoing mixed methods study collecting, analysing and synthesising linked data from a national survey and follow-up semi-structured interviews. It adds explanatory potential to existing national survey data and is likely to inform future surveys about sexual health. Given the current uncertainty around service provision in Britain, this study provides timely data about symptom experiences and care-seeking behaviour which may inform future commissioning of sexual healthcare.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Mixed methods study design
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Fig1: Mixed methods study design

Mentions: We use a participant-selection variant of the explanatory sequential mixed methods design (Fig. 1) [18, 22]. Data collection takes place in two distinct stages to enable us to use the quantitative survey data from the third National Survey of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles (Natsal-3) which is collected first, to identify the sampling frame for the dominant qualitative strand giving us linked datasets. Analyses of the quantitative and qualitative strands are conducted independently but simultaneously to maintain the integrity of each data. Key findings from each strand are integrated in a second stage of analysis to produce synergistic interpretations about genito-urinary symptoms and care-seeking behaviour and deepen understanding of the research topic. Our sequential design enables identification of a sample with a potential need for healthcare, outside of medical settings. The linked datasets increase explanatory and integrative potential of the data. The study is under-pinned by public health approaches to individual and population health needs, as well as sociological and psychological theory. We draw on principles of pragmatism to incorporate different research paradigms ([23] p26) ([24] p14–16) within the study and use phenomenology to focus on lived experiences ([25] p1–21).Fig. 1


How social representations of sexually transmitted infections influence experiences of genito-urinary symptoms and care-seeking in Britain: mixed methods study protocol.

Mapp F, Hickson F, Mercer CH, Wellings K - BMC Public Health (2016)

Mixed methods study design
© Copyright Policy - OpenAccess
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License 1 - License 2
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4940703&req=5

Fig1: Mixed methods study design
Mentions: We use a participant-selection variant of the explanatory sequential mixed methods design (Fig. 1) [18, 22]. Data collection takes place in two distinct stages to enable us to use the quantitative survey data from the third National Survey of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles (Natsal-3) which is collected first, to identify the sampling frame for the dominant qualitative strand giving us linked datasets. Analyses of the quantitative and qualitative strands are conducted independently but simultaneously to maintain the integrity of each data. Key findings from each strand are integrated in a second stage of analysis to produce synergistic interpretations about genito-urinary symptoms and care-seeking behaviour and deepen understanding of the research topic. Our sequential design enables identification of a sample with a potential need for healthcare, outside of medical settings. The linked datasets increase explanatory and integrative potential of the data. The study is under-pinned by public health approaches to individual and population health needs, as well as sociological and psychological theory. We draw on principles of pragmatism to incorporate different research paradigms ([23] p26) ([24] p14–16) within the study and use phenomenology to focus on lived experiences ([25] p1–21).Fig. 1

Bottom Line: Social understandings of sexually transmitted infections and associated symptoms and care-seeking behaviour continue to lag behind advancements in biomedical diagnostics and treatment, perpetuating the burden of disease.It adds explanatory potential to existing national survey data and is likely to inform future surveys about sexual health.Given the current uncertainty around service provision in Britain, this study provides timely data about symptom experiences and care-seeking behaviour which may inform future commissioning of sexual healthcare.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Social and Environmental Health Research, Faculty of Public Health and Policy, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, London, UK. Fiona.Mapp@lshtm.ac.uk.

ABSTRACT

Background: Social understandings of sexually transmitted infections and associated symptoms and care-seeking behaviour continue to lag behind advancements in biomedical diagnostics and treatment, perpetuating the burden of disease. There is a lack of research linking perceptions, experiences and care-seeking for sexual health issues, especially research conducted outside of medical settings. We aim to explore lay perceptions of STIs and how these influence experiences of genito-urinary symptoms and associated care-seeking behaviour, in women and men in Britain.

Methods and design: This study adopts a participant-selection variant of the explanatory sequential mixed methods design to incorporate quantitative and qualitative strands. We use data from Britain's third National Survey of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles (n = 15,162) to analyse national patterns of symptom experience and care-seeking, and to identify a purposive qualitative sample. Semi-structured interviews (n = 27) following up with survey participants include a novel flash card activity providing qualitative data about infection perceptions, symptom experiences and decisions about healthcare. Quantitative and qualitative data are analysed separately using complex survey analyses and principles of Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis respectively. Data are then integrated in a subsequent phase of analysis using matrices to compare, contrast and identify silences from each method.

Discussion: This is an ongoing mixed methods study collecting, analysing and synthesising linked data from a national survey and follow-up semi-structured interviews. It adds explanatory potential to existing national survey data and is likely to inform future surveys about sexual health. Given the current uncertainty around service provision in Britain, this study provides timely data about symptom experiences and care-seeking behaviour which may inform future commissioning of sexual healthcare.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus