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What factors influence individuals and couples to seek help for sexual and/or relationship difficulties from primary care professionals: an exploratory qualitative study

Fitter, Julie; Hayter, Mark; Wylie, Kevan Richard

Authors

Julie Fitter

Kevan Richard Wylie



Abstract

This study aims to gain information about what factors influence individuals and couples to discuss sexual and/or relationship difficulties with a primary healthcare professional. Although there is evidence that sexual and relationship difficulties are quite prevalent, there is little empirical evidence as to the factors that influence help seeking behaviour. In particular why some people choose to seek help from a primary care professional. Five participants (three women and two men) took part in qualitative in-depth semi-structured interviews, which were recorded and transcribed. Data analysis involved a Thematic Analysis approach that identified six themes influencing help seeking behaviour, which were named: Relationship characteristics; Context; Perception of problem; Professional approachability; Awareness of services; and Client openness. The Information Processing Model offers the best theory with which to interpret and understand the findings of this study and enables health professionals to understand that help seeking behaviour relies on a number of steps that could be amenable to intervention. The study concludes that education and training programmes should be improved for primary healthcare staff and initiatives to raise awareness of sexual and relationship difficulties with both professionals and the public be developed and maintained.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date 2009-08
Journal Sexual and Relationship Therapy
Print ISSN 1468-1994
Electronic ISSN 1468-1749
Publisher Taylor & Francis
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 24
Issue 3-4
Pages 333-346
APA6 Citation Fitter, J., Hayter, M., & Wylie, K. R. (2009). What factors influence individuals and couples to seek help for sexual and/or relationship difficulties from primary care professionals: an exploratory qualitative study. Sexual and Relationship Therapy, 24(3-4), 333-346. doi:10.1080/14681990902829547
DOI https://doi.org/10.1080/14681990902829547
Keywords Clinical Psychology; Psychiatry and Mental health
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