An exploration of patient satisfaction with and experience of a sexual abuse survivors clinic

Gurkiran Birdi, Rachel J Caswell, Jonathan DC Ross, Helen Pattison, Oluseyi Ayinde, Karen Lorimer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background The scale and extent of sexual violence perpetrated in the United Kingdom is being increasingly acknowledged. Support after the initial disclosure is often sought in NHS sexual health clinics. The purpose of this service evaluation was to explore patient satisfaction and experience amongst sexual health clinic attendees who disclosed sexual violence and were subsequently managed in a specialist sexual abuse survivors clinic. Methods Semi-structured interviews were conducted with ten service users and interview transcripts were analysed using interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA) to assess users’ experiences within the clinic. Results Participants were all female (aged 18–54 years) and had experienced sexual violence between 2 weeks and 15 years prior to interview, and the majority self-identified as White British (6/10). IPA analysis revealed three distinct overarching themes which were important to this group of patients when evaluating their care: delivery of care in the context of judgement and stigma, aspects of care identified as healing or harmful to recovery, and the importance of the processes of providing care. Conclusion Understanding the experiences of sexual violence survivors in healthcare settings can optimise the provision of patient-oriented care and support. This includes ensuring the service user is in control of the consultation, the risks of re-traumatisation are minimised, and individuals receive relevant and accurate information but in a manageable volume and format.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)180-185
JournalInternational Journal of Std and Aids
Issue number2
Early online date30 Nov 2021
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2022


  • Sexual health
  • health services research
  • qualitative research
  • treatment


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