Obtaining a comprehensive sexual health history is an important part of the patient history taking process and is essential to providing high-quality, patient-centered, and accessible healthcare. Information gathered from the sexual health history guides delivery of appropriate education about prevention, counseling, treatment, and care. A federally qualified health center (FQHC) reported that they did not have a standardized comprehensive sexual health history taking process. To address this concern, a literature review was conducted to survey current evidence regarding both patient and healthcare provider perspective on sexual health history taking. While it is recommended for a sexual health history to be performed routinely, both healthcare providers and patients have reported sexual health is not discussed at most visits.
The findings led to the initiation of an evidence-based project implementing a comprehensive sexual health history taking tool at the FQHC. The tool assists in obtaining a comprehensive sexual history and provides an understanding of the sexual practices of the patients. If healthcare providers become aware of the sexual practices of their patients, they are better able to provide evidence-based education that could lead to better health outcomes. The participants reported they liked being asked about their sexual health, did not find the questions too personal, and reported the questionnaire addressed their sexual health concerns, and was worth their time. Taking a comprehensive sexual health history is a fundamental skill that all healthcare providers must strive to improve for the general health of their patients and the community.