Three essays on sexual behaviour and sexually transmitted disease in the UK

Stuart, Beth (2009) Three essays on sexual behaviour and sexually transmitted disease in the UK. University of Southampton, School of Social Sciences, Doctoral Thesis , 223pp.


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This thesis aims to explore the measurement of and the correlation between risky
sexual behaviour and chlamydia and gonorrhoea infection in the UK in three
chapters. The first of these explores methods of calculating rates of Chlamydia
and gonorrhoea infection at UK genitourinary medicine (GUM) clinics. Data from
KC60 returns from clinics in the Northwest, Southwest and East Midlands of
England are used to provide a numerator for the rates and three methods are
tested to derive the denominator: Thiessen polygons, 15 mile boundaries, and 30
minute drive times. The study finds that the rates calculated are relatively
insensitive to the method chosen and thus the simplest approach, the Thiessen
polygons, is recommended. The analysis also highlights substantial regional
differences in GUM service accessibility.

The second chapter uses latent class analysis to derive a measure of risky sexual
behaviour with respect to chlamydia and gonorrhoea infection. Data from the
National Survey of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles II, a nationally representative
survey of sexual behaviour in Britain, has been analysed in order to identify
patterns of behaviours associated with increased disease risk A 3-class solution
is obtained, with individuals classified on the basis of the number of partners they
have had in the last 12 months.

The third chapter examines the relationship between the rates of chlamydia and
gonorrhoea infection and the measure of risky sexual behaviour. Small area
estimates of risky behaviour are obtained for all wards in England using synthetic
regression methods. These are then aggregated in line with the Thiessen
polygons in order to explore the correlation with the rates of chlamydia and
gonorrhoea infection. There is a positive correlation for both infections, but far
stronger for gonorrhoea than chlamydia (r=0.70 and r=0.41 respectively),
suggesting that although risky behaviour may explain some of the observed
variation, further research is need to explore other possible explanations.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
H Social Sciences > HA Statistics
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine
Divisions : University Structure - Pre August 2011 > School of Social Sciences > Social Statistics
ePrint ID: 72381
Accepted Date and Publication Date:
2009Made publicly available
Date Deposited: 11 Feb 2010
Last Modified: 27 Mar 2014 18:51

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