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J Adolesc Health. 2005 Jul;37(1):69-74.

Understanding the role of perceived severity in STD-related care-seeking delays.

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Department of International Health, Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland 21287, USA.



To gain a more in-depth understanding of the relationship between perceived severity of symptoms and STD-related care-seeking behavior among adolescent African-American females in Baltimore City.


Twenty-one female adolescents were interviewed in depth to elicit their experiences with an STD in the previous 3 months. Comparisons were made between those who sought care on account of their symptoms and those who did not.


High perceived seriousness about symptoms has both cognitive and emotional components that may function independently to either promote or delay STD-related care seeking.


Both cognitive and emotional responses to STD symptoms must be considered when examining the effect of perceived severity on adolescents' STD-related care-seeking behaviors.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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