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Int J STD AIDS. 2000 Jun;11(6):375-8.

Factors influencing delay in treatment seeking by first-time attenders at a genitourinary clinic.

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  • 1Staffordshire University, Stoke-on-Trent, UK.


We examined treatment-seeking behaviours amongst a consecutive sample of 188 first-time attenders at a busy genitourinary (GU) clinic in a general hospital. Participants were interviewed and completed a battery of questionnaires prior to receiving diagnosis or treatment. Delay in treatment seeking was measured in 3 ways: utilization delay, illness behaviour delay and appraisal delay. Appraisal delay and illness behaviour were significantly related, but were unrelated to utilization delay. Substantial delays were reported before seeking treatment, with a median of 30 days elapsing between first noticing symptoms and attending the clinic. Analysis of age groups indicated that the oldest groups--45 and above were likely to delay longest, on all 3 measures of delay.

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