An examination of STI testing influences for young people in primary care


  • L. Robson
  • G. Rait
  • J. Saunders
  • J. Cassell
  • T. Morrison
  • V. Vickerstaff
  • J. Bailey
  • L. McDonagh


Background: STI testing in general practice could help meet diagnostic demands for young people and reduce infection transmission. A theoretical framework of behaviour change within health psychology is the COM-B system, which theorises that behaviour, such as STI testing, is the result of an interaction between capability, opportunity and motivation for behaviour. The study aim is to identify factors associated with STI testing among young people using the COM-B and explore relationships between the factors. Methods: An online questionnaire will target approximately 385 participants aged 16 to 24 years living in the UK. Participants will provide data on demographics, sexual experience, testing history and scale based measures such as stigma, self-efficacy, shame, and testing intention. Correlation and stepwise regression analyses will be used to identify which factors are associated with testing intention and past testing behaviour. Expected results: Based on past findings, it is probable that injunctive norms, stigma and perceived susceptibility will emerge as the factors most strongly associated with STI testing. It is expected that at least some components of the COM-B will be significant predictors of testing intention and behaviour. Current stage of work: Piloting questionnaire with public involvement representatives and sexual health experts, while establishing recruitment channels. Discussion: Results will inform the development of an intervention to increase STI testing in routine general practice based on a framework of behaviour change. Results will also have relevance to policy-makers and commissioners in informing how health psychology can contribute to improving the sexual health of young people.





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