Thu, Mar 30, 2017 | updated 06:25 AM IST

Youths attending mental health services have unmet sexual health needs: Study

Updated: Oct 22, 2016 12:02 IST
Washington D.C. [USA], Oct. 22 (ANI): A new research shows that youths attending mental health services have unmet sexual health needs, as shown by low rates of contraception and high rates of unplanned pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

The study, by Dr Brian O'Donoghue, Orygen, The National Centre of Excellence in Youth Mental Health and University of Melbourne, Melbourne, VIC, Australia, and colleagues says that adolescence is a period of increased risk for both mental health disorders and high-risk sexual behaviour.

However, there is a lack of research on the interaction between these two issues.

In this study, the authors aimed to identify the prevalence of high-risk sexual behaviours, their consequences, and also sexual dysfunction in a cohort attending the Orygen National Centre of Excellence in Youth Mental Health, Melbourne.

The participants were young people aged 15-24 attending the clinic for treatment for psychosis, personality disorders, or mood disorders. The analysis included a sexual health questionnaire, a sexual functioning questionnaire, and a tool called the Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale (BPRS). The study included 103 young people with a range of mental health disorders.

Of the participants, 54 percent identified as heterosexual, 32 percent as bisexual or pansexual and five percent as homosexual.

The analysis showed that 78 percent had a history of sexual intercourse and the mean age of sexual debut was 16 years. Alarmingly, less than half of those who were sexually active were using contraception; one quarter (24 percent) of those who had been tested for an STI received a result positive for an STI, and a quarter had also been pregnant (either themselves or their partners), with 95 percent of those pregnancies unplanned.

Nearly two thirds had used alcohol during sex and 43 percent had used cannabis. A total of 39 percent of young people affected by mental health disorders had clinically relevant sexual dysfunction and this was associated with more negative emotions and experiences around sex.

The authors concluded by saying, "These results indicate that young people with mental health disorders also have high needs in regards to their sexual health, which could be addressed by incorporating sexual health clinics into early intervention services."

Specialists at the Orygen clinic have developed a screening instrument to aid analysis of sexual health of new patients which they hope to implement shortly. The centre is also seeking funding for a full time sexual health nurse to be based at the clinic.

The research has been published at this year's International Early Psychosis Association (IEPA) meeting in Milan, Italy (20-22 October). (ANI)

Washington.D.C. [USA], Mar. 29 (ANI): A study finds that gastric acid suppression drugs increase the risk of recurrent Clostridium difficile infection - which causes diarrhea and life-threatening inflammation of the colon.

Full Story >>

Ranchi [India], Mar. 28 (ANI): Health Minister of Jharkhand, Ramchandra Chandravanshi has recently claimed that the state has come a long way from the day when Jharkhand was on 18th number among states as far as their healthcare services were concerned. It now stands third in the country, according to an independent survey.

Full Story >>

Washington D.C. [USA], Mar. 28 (ANI): Exposure to fungal product, called aflatoxin, is believed to cause up to 80 percent of liver cancer cases in many parts of the world.

Full Story >>

Washington D.C. [USA], Mar. 26 (ANI): Attention dog lovers! With just six months of training, a German Shepherd can accurately detect breast cancer, a study finds.

Full Story >>

Washington D.C. [USA], Mar. 26 (ANI): A recent study has found that a sleepless night impairs your ability to interpret subtle expressions of happiness and sadness.

Full Story >>

Washington D.C. [USA], Mar. 26 (ANI): When it comes to new moms' workout programs, less is more and so, according to a Kansas State University researcher, new moms may need a bit more flexibility and support to ease back into exercise after giving birth.

Full Story >>

New approach to diagnosing mental disorders

Updated: Mar 26, 2017 10:48 IST

Washington D.C. [USA], Mar. 26 (ANI): A consortium of psychiatrists and psychologists has proposed a new approach to diagnosing mental disorders.

Full Story >>

Washington D.C. [USA], Mar. 26 (ANI): Boosting natural brain opioids may be a better way to treat anxiety, according to a recent study.

Full Story >>

Fecal transplant offers hope for autistic kids

Updated: Mar 26, 2017 09:37 IST

Washington D.C. [USA], Mar. 26 (ANI): In this new era of medical therapy dawning, fecal transplants are poised to help fight a range of conditions, from deadly superbugs to obesity and now, autism is in the firing line.

Full Story >>

Thiruvallur (Chennai) [India], Mar. 25 (ANI): A highly contagious viral disease of cattle and swine, Foot-and-Mouth Disease (FMD) has affected Karani village on the outskirts of Tamil Nadu's Tiruvallur district.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Mar. 25 (ANI): The findings of the National Family Health Survey 2015-16 confirm what we all knew from clinical evidence - that hypertension has become a major health concern among the Indian population, with as many as 22% Indians hypertensive.

Full Story >>

Washington D.C. [USA], Mar. 25 (ANI): A prescription weight-loss medication can decrease the urge to use opiates such as oxycodone, according to a recent study.

Full Story >>

Washington D.C. [USA], Mar. 25 (ANI): A team of researchers has discovered a new gene that is associated with Tau accumulation, which is one of the defining features of Alzheimer disease (AD).

Full Story >>

Washington D.C. [USA], Mar. 25 (ANI): All it takes is the flip of a protein "switch" within the tiny wire-like capillaries of the brain to increase the blood flow that ensures optimal brain function.

Full Story >>

Washington D.C. [USA], Mar. 25 (ANI): Scientists have found that stem cell therapy repairs damaged lungs - raising hopes of a cure for the crippling chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and cystic fibrosis.

Full Story >>

New method can cut dental implant failure

Updated: Mar 25, 2017 09:34 IST

Washington D.C. [USA], Mar. 25 (ANI): A team of researchers has come up with a new method to reduce dental implant failure.

Full Story >>

Washington D.C. [USA], Mar. 25 (ANI): A team of researchers has come up with a fluorogenic probe that can detect the activity of multidrug-resistant pathogens in an assay system.

Full Story >>

Virus hydrophobicity can help purify vaccines

Updated: Mar 25, 2017 07:46 IST

Washington D.C. [USA], Mar. 25 (ANI): A team of researchers has found that hydrophobic proteins on virus surfaces can help purify vaccines.

Full Story >>

Washington D.C. [USA], Mar. 25 (ANI): A team of researchers has shed light on why survivors of childhood brain tumours may be prone to heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and early death.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Mar. 24 (ANI): Continuing its efforts to raise awareness on tuberculosis and its diagnosis, Division of Clinical Microbiology & Molecular Medicine Department of Laboratory Medicine, AIIMS, and BD (Becton Dickinson India) for the third consecutive year organized a symposium today on "challenges in diagnosis and eradication of tuberculosis".

Full Story >>