Publication Details

P. Abbott, A. Dadich, H. Hosseinzadeh, M. Kang, W. Hu, C. Bourne, C. Murray & J. Reath (2013). Practice nurses and sexual health care - enhancing team care within general practice. Sydney, Australia, 10-12 July 2013.


Aims & rationale/Objectives Despite a high prevalence of sexually transmissible infections (STIs) and evidenced shortfalls in Australian general practice STI screening, practice nurse (PN) roles in sexual healthcare appear underdeveloped. The evaluation of the NSW STI Programs Unit (STIPU) GP Project provided opportunity to canvass the views of general practitioners (GPs) and PNs regarding PN roles in sexual healthcare. Methods As part of a broader evaluation of resources developed through the STIPU GP project, survey respondents were invited to participate in interviews exploring their views on how to support and increase the delivery of sexual health care in general practice. Semi structured interviews were held with 10 PNs and 9 GPs. Interviews were audiotaped, transcribed verbatim and analysed thematically. Findings A wide range of PN roles in sexual health care delivery within general practice were reported. Factors which impacted on successful PN-GP teamwork were respective workloads, recognition of the PN role in sexual health and practice organisational systems. This study provided evidence that the PN role in sexual health within general practice is underdeveloped and PNs would welcome an expanded role in sexual healthcare. Implications Increased recognition, marketing and support of an enhanced PN role in sexual healthcare delivery in general practice may increase the services provided, reduce GP time pressure and increase PN professional satisfaction.