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How can we objectively categorise partnership type? A novel classification of population survey data to inform epidemiological research and clinical practice

Mercer, CH; Jones, KG; Johnson, AM; Lewis, R; Mitchell, KR; Gravningen, K; Clifton, S; ... Estcourt, CS; + view all (2017) How can we objectively categorise partnership type? A novel classification of population survey data to inform epidemiological research and clinical practice. Sexually Transmitted Infections , 93 (2) pp. 129-136. 10.1136/sextrans-2016-052646. Green open access

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: Partnership type is a determinant of STI risk; yet, it is poorly and inconsistently recorded in clinical practice and research. We identify a novel, empirical-based categorisation of partnership type, and examine whether reporting STI diagnoses varies by the resulting typologies. METHODS: Analyses of probability survey data collected from 15 162 people aged 16-74 who participated in Britain's third National Survey of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles were undertaken during 2010-2012. Computer-assisted self-interviews asked about participants' ≤3 most recent partners (N=14 322 partners/past year). Analysis of variance and regression tested for differences in partnership duration and perceived likelihood of sex again across 21 'partnership progression types' (PPTs) derived from relationship status at first and most recent sex. Multivariable regression examined the association between reporting STI diagnoses and partnership type(s) net of age and reported partner numbers (all past year). RESULTS: The 21 PPTs were grouped into four summary types: 'cohabiting', 'now steady', 'casual' and 'ex-steady' according to the average duration and likelihood of sex again. 11 combinations of these summary types accounted for 94.5% of all men; 13 combinations accounted for 96.9% of all women. Reporting STI diagnoses varied by partnership-type combination, including after adjusting for age and partner numbers, for example, adjusted OR: 6.03 (95% CI 2.01 to 18.1) for men with two 'casual' and one 'now steady' partners versus men with one 'cohabiting' partner. CONCLUSIONS: This typology provides an objective method for measuring partnership type and demonstrates its importance in understanding STI risk, net of partner numbers. Epidemiological research and clinical practice should use these methods and results to maximise individual and public health benefit.

Type: Article
Title: How can we objectively categorise partnership type? A novel classification of population survey data to inform epidemiological research and clinical practice
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1136/sextrans-2016-052646
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/sextrans-2016-052646
Language: English
Additional information: This is an Open Access article distributed in accordance with the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt and build upon this work, for commercial use, provided the original work is properly cited. See: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
Keywords: CONTACT TRACING, EPIDEMIOLOGY (GENERAL), HEALTH SERV RESEARCH, PARTNER NOTIFICATION, SEXUAL BEHAVIOUR
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute for Global Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute for Global Health > Infection and Population Health
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1508783
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