Sexual History Taking in Clinical Settings: A Narrative Review

Kathryn A. Brookmeyer, Alexandra Coor, Rachel E. Kachur, Oscar Beltran, Hilary E. Reno, Patricia J. Dittus

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Background This study aimed to explore gaps between Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's clinical guidelines for obtaining a sexual history and regular clinical practice. We examine how patient, provider, and setting characteristics may influence the likelihood of obtaining comprehensive sexual histories and examine patient outcomes linked to sexual history taking. Methods We performed a narrative review to identify studies that examined clinical practice and sexual history taking via 8 databases. A 2-level inclusion protocol was followed, wherein the abstract and full text of the article were reviewed, respectively. Data were abstracted using a standardized tool developed for this study. Results The search yielded 2700 unique studies, of which 2193 were excluded in level 1, and 497 were excluded in level 2, leaving 10 studies for data abstraction. None of the studies reported comprehensive sexual history taking, and 8 studies reported differences in how providers obtain a sexual history when patient and provider demographics are considered. Three studies found a positive link between providers who discuss sexual history and provider sexually transmitted disease testing. Conclusions When sexual histories are obtained, they are not comprehensive, and providers may discuss sexual history differentially based on patients' demographic characteristics. Providers who discuss patients' sexual history may be more likely to also provide sexual health preventive care.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)393-402
Number of pages10
JournalSexually transmitted diseases
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2021


Dive into the research topics of 'Sexual History Taking in Clinical Settings: A Narrative Review'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this