Patients' perspectives on sexual history taking in Korea

Su Hyun Kim, Young Mee Lee, Jong Tae Park

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    11 Citations (Scopus)


    Objective: This study was conducted to assess patients' beliefs and attitudes towards physicians taking their sexual history during routine medical visits in Korea, where Confucianism is the core societal value. Methods: A survey questionnaire was administered to determine the patients' perspectives to sexual history taking, their actual experience of being asked about sexual issues by physicians, their belief in the importance of sexual history taking, their attitudes and cooperativeness towards each component of sexual history, and the effect of the physicians' age and gender on their comfort level during interview. Results: 74.6% of respondents had never been asked about their sexual issues by physicians. Most patients showed a positive attitude and cooperativeness in general, although more than 25% had a negative attitude and were uncooperative with regards to certain components of sexual issues. Their comfort level to sexual history taking was not influenced by the physicians' age. However, female patients felt more comfortable discussing sexual issues with female physicians. Conclusion: Sexual history taking was often overlooked during routine medical visits in Korea, although patients showed a relatively positive and cooperative attitude. Women showed a greater preference for female physicians. Practice implications: Sexual history taking should be more facilitated in clinical practice and requires a deliberate approach and skill.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)370-375
    Number of pages6
    JournalPatient Education and Counseling
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 2008 Mar


    • Confucianism
    • Primary health care
    • Sexual history

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Medicine(all)


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