Discussing Sexual and Relationship Health with Young People within an Acute Children’s Hospital

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


    Background: Research shows increasing rates of sexually acquired infections and teenage pregnancies within young people (Horseman 2005). Often relationship issues are not addressed by healthcare professionals due to a lack of confidence, education and feelings of embarrassment. Current literature within this field focuses on primary care and school settings (Metcalfe 2004) with little conducted within acute care. Aim: To explore the discussion of sexual and relationship health with young people. Method: Mixed method approach. Questionnaires were distributed to young people aged 14 or over and their parents within an acute paediatric trust to gather data on what, if any, information they would like regarding sexual or relationship health whilst in hospital. 100 questionnaires were distributed with a 70% response rate. Seven semi structured focus groups were held with multi-disciplinary team members to explore barriers and enablers relating to discussing sexual and relationship issues with young people. Results: Questionnaires – Young people identified that they wanted information and wanted to raise questions, but described being too embarrassed to ask or felt that it was not the right environment. Parents felt the hospital was an appropriate place to discuss sexual and relationship health and should be covered as part of holistic care. Focus Groups – Staff identified topics that they would and would not feel comfortable discussing with young people and this was affected by their personal upbringing, gender, age, professional role and experience talking about these issues. All felt they would benefit from training in discussing sexual and relationship health to improve knowledge and confidence. Conclusion: The data highlighted that the acute trust has a role in providing sexual and relationship information and staff require further training in order to deal with this need. This research aims to inform the design of training opportunities which will be subsequently evaluated
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication statusPublished - 2010
    EventRoyal College of Nursing (RCN) International Nursing Research Conference - Gateshead, United Kingdom
    Duration: 11 May 201013 May 2010


    ConferenceRoyal College of Nursing (RCN) International Nursing Research Conference
    Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


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