Are medical students interested in sexual health education? A nationwide survey

Abstract

The majority of medical students and medical healthcare providers do not feel comfortable when addressing sexual problems. It was suggested that more courses in sexual health are needed at medical schools to overcome this shortcoming. To assess medical students’ interest in and attitude about sexual health education at medical schools in Germany, a 13-item online questionnaire was developed. The link to the questionnaire was distributed at all medical schools in Germany. In total, 3264 medical students (69.9% female) from all 37 medical schools in Germany participated. Students from all universities indicated that contents related to sexual health are taught at their university. The majority (n=1809; 62.1%) answered that courses in sexual health should be mandatory. The types of educational experiences that were viewed as most appropriate were lectures (n=2281, 78.3%) and seminars without patient contact (n=1414, 48.5%). Students were most interested in child sexual abuse and sexually transmitted infections. It should be ensured that all medical students have acquired basic knowledge in diagnosing and treating frequent sexual problems at the end of their medical studies. Suggestions are made about how to improve current efforts of sexual health education at medical schools.

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Acknowledgements

We want to thank the Federal Representation of Medical Students in Germany for their support in data collection. We also want to thank the Dean’s office of the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf for supporting the present study with a grant.

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Correspondence to D Turner.

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Turner, D., Nieder, T., Dekker, A. et al. Are medical students interested in sexual health education? A nationwide survey. Int J Impot Res 28, 172–175 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1038/ijir.2016.25

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