From intention to STI prevention: An online questionnaire on barriers and facilitators for discussing sexual risk behaviour among HIV nurses

Suzanne de Munnik*, Sigrid C.J.M. Vervoort, Heidi S.M. Ammerlaan, Gerjo Kok, Chantal den Daas

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Aims: We aimed to elucidate facilitators and barriers that HIV nurses experience in discussing sexual risk behaviour with HIV-positive men who have sex with men, using variables from a previous qualitative study and the theory of planned behaviour. Background: HIV-positive men who have sex with men are frequently diagnosed with sexually transmitted infections, which can be reduced if HIV nurses discuss sexual risk behaviour. Design: An online questionnaire was disseminated in April 2015 among all HIV nurses in the Netherlands. Methods: We assessed variables, such as attitudes, shame, ability, knowledge and time concerns. A regression analysis was conducted with “intention to discuss sexual risk behaviour” as an outcome variable. Results: The questionnaire was completed by 60 of 79 HIV nurses. Overall, participants reported high intentions to discuss sexual risk behaviour, and 38% of the variance was explained by attitude, sexual preference, knowing ways to introduce the topic and experiencing enough time or viewing it as a priority. In addition, high intenders significantly differed from low intenders in “experienced shame,” “relation with patients,” “non-verbal communication,” “subjective norm” and “knowledge.”. Conclusion: Improving sexual health in HIV care translates into improving opportunities and the facilitating factors in initiating the discussion of sexual risk behaviour rather than removing barriers HIV nurses experience. Interventions should mainly focus on improving the HIV nurses’ perceived ability to initiate the topic of sexual risk behaviour and to utilize the jargon and terminology that is commonly used among men who have sex with men.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2953-2961
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Advanced Nursing
Issue number12
Early online date1 Aug 2017
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2017

Bibliographical note

The authors would like to thank all the responding HIV nurses for their participation.


  • consultation
  • counselling
  • healthcare providers
  • men who have sex with men
  • nurse practitioners
  • nurses
  • patient–provider interaction
  • sexual risk behaviour
  • sexually transmitted infections


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