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J Adolesc Health. 2003 Apr;32(4):288-95.

Gonorrhea and chlamydia screening among young women: stage of change, decisional balance, and self-efficacy.

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Eric Williams Science Medical Center, Department of Pediatrics, Trincity, Trinidad, West Indies.



To assess perceived sexually transmitted disease (STD) (gonorrhea and chlamdydia) screening behaviors among young women at risk for STDs by evaluating readiness, pros and cons, and self-efficacy to seek STD screening in the absence of symptoms.


Two hundred forty young urban women (mean 18.8 years +/-1.59) consecutively attending an urban reproductive clinic voluntarily completed a 67-item questionnaire on STD screening behaviors that included the stages of change (SOCs), decisional balance, and self-efficacy as well as sexual practices and partner relationships. The data were analyzed using descriptive statistics, multivariate analyses of variance, Chi-square tests, and Wilcoxon signed rank test.


Ninety-five percent of the participants would be willing to obtain STD screening for early disease detection. Participants were further along the SOCs for STD screening following unprotected sex with a change in partner than main partner, (p <.001). Pros and cons of STD screening varied according to the SOCs for STD screening with a change in partner and main partner. Self-efficacy increased linearly along the SOCs for STD screening (p <.001).


Most young women recognize the importance of STD screening but are not currently being tested when at risk for STDs. STD screening behaviors varied according to the partner relationship, which highlights the importance of stage- and partner-matched counseling to promote STD screening particularly when at risk for STDs.

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