Views and experiences of young women about: knowledge, condom use and access to health.
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Chouliara, Z., Karatzias, A., Goulbourne, A. & Smart, H. (2009) Views and experiences of young women about: knowledge, condom use and access to health., Health Psychology Update, vol. 18, , pp. 14-24,
The study aimed to elicit perceptions of and awareness about chlamydia, views and experiences of condom use as protection against a chlamydia infection and of access to sexual health services. This qualitative study utilised semi-structured individual interviews. The sample consisted of 12 young females, aged between 18 and 25 years old. Transcripts were analysed using IPA (Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis) to identify recurrent themes and their interlinks. Six themes were identified: Facts versus risk misjudgement; social stigma and taboos; assertiveness versus fear of conflict; respect versus patronising; accessibility and discreteness; and targeting young people. An awareness of the shame, embarrassment and social stigma associated with sexual health and specifically chlamydia testing and diagnosis were central in participants' accounts. Participants also emphasised the need for effective sex education, especially for young women. It is envisaged that findings have the potential to inform health education, policy and clinical practice regarding sexually transmitted infections and chlamydia in particular.