Attitudes and perceptions of final year medical students on sexual history taking from patients in Ogun state, Southwestern Nigeria
Background: An important aspect of sexual health is the ability to take a sexual history. Previous studies have shown that most medical students believed that sexual history taking is an important skill for future practice. Still, a majority reported inadequate, inconsistent or no training in this area.
Objectives: To assess the attitudes of final year medical students on sexual history taking and perceptions of the training they received in medical school
Design: A cross-sectional study using an online survey
Participants: Consented and conveniently sampled 100 final year medical students.
Results: The overall response rate was 74.6%, and the mean age of the respondents was 24.1±2.9 years. The majority (97%) of the students believed it is important for doctors to know how to take a sexual history. Still, only 31% admitted to finding it easy, with 57% of the students admitted to being comfortable taking a sexual history from adult patients. While 70% had exposure on simulated patients, just 54% have observed doctors taking sexual history during clinical rotations, mostly in Obstetrics and Gynaecology (97%) and Urology (60%) postings.
Conclusions: Many final year medical students are interested in and appreciated the importance of sexual history taking, but they are not well grounded in many aspects of the topic. Despite the importance of sexual health, many students did not have enough exposure and training on the topic while still in medical schools. There is thus a need for a review of the curriculum of undergraduate medical education in Nigeria.
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