Research at SHQ - Sexual Health Quarters
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Research at SHQ

SHQ values research in the sexual health field, in particular around areas where current data is lacking, as this impacts an accurate assessment of the sexual health needs of our priority groups.

SHQ will promote, where possible at political, national and State levels, a high priority for the development of research programs and gathering of data in the areas of sexual health.

SHQ will participate in and facilitate research projects to develop the sexual health knowledge base of our staff, as well as the broader professional community.

Current research projects

Menstrual cups and Intrauterine Device expulsion – is there an association?

Menstrual cups are reusable devices for collecting menstrual flow. Their popularity is increasing in Australia because of the reduced environmental impact, financial benefits and convenience.

Our clinical staff had noticed a number of patients experiencing intrauterine device (IUD) expulsion following concurrent menstrual cup use. Although few studies have been published on this topic, recent research suggests that menstrual cup use may indeed increase the risk of IUD expulsion.

A pilot retrospective descriptive study has been carried out.  A further detailed study is in the planning stages, which we hope will ultimately contribute to advice on how to safely use menstrual cups with IUDs.

Denied a referral for a termination: What are the consequences?

This study aims to understand the experience of people who have been denied a referral by a doctor for a termination. This information will help to understand the reasons and consequences of being denied a referral, and to look at ways of improving referral pathways for people accessing termination services.

Participants must be over the age of 18 and have been denied referral for a termination within the last two years. Participation involves taking part in an interview with the researcher, either in person or over the phone.

A $25 voucher will be provided as a thank you for participating in this project.

This study is being conducted by Ms. Meagan Roberts (Master of Public Health student) under the supervision of Dr Jacqui Hendriks (Senior Research Officer, School of Public Health) at Curtin University in collaboration with SHQ.

For more information please contact:
• (Student Researcher) Meagan Roberts [email protected]
• (Chief Investigator) Dr Jacqui Hendriks [email protected]

Enablers and barriers to young people accessing STI services: A qualitative study

This study aims to explore the experiences, enablers and barriers of young people (aged 18-29) when accessing STI testing provided by SHQ.

Participants must have had either a consultation at SHQ regarding STI testing and/or received STI testing through a booked appointment or by attending an STI drop-in clinic. Participation involves a one-on-one interview with a researcher over the phone (between 30-45 minutes long). Please fill in a confidential consent form when you attend SHQ.

The study is being conducted by researchers and Masters by Coursework students from Edith Cowan University, and has been approved by Edith Cowan University Human Research Ethics Committee.


Intimate Partner Violence and Reproductive Coercion

SHQ values research in the sexual health field, in particular around areas where current data is lacking. One such area is reproductive coercion.

Reproductive coercion is a term used to describe a range of fertility-controlling behaviours, and is an emerging form of domestic violence.

SHQ is committed to reducing incidences of violence in our community. More research is needed to better understand why reproductive coercion occurs, and what is needed to help support victims.

During 2019-2020, any SHQ client who identified as female had the opportunity to allow their de-identified screening data to be used as part of a research project funded by the Australian Government through the Women’s in Leadership and Development Program, to help establish possible links between intimate partner violence/reproductive coercion, unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections.

This project is now in data analysis phase, and we look forward to sharing the results soon. For more information please contact Medical Director Dr Cathy Brooker – 9227 6177. SHQ continue to screen for intimate partner violence and reproductive coercion, assisting and managing clients through this.


National HPV Monitoring Program (IMPACT)

The National HPV Monitoring Program (IMPACT) brought together internationally recognised epidemiologists, surveillance experts, sexual health physicians and statisticians from across Australia. and was funded by the Australian Government Department of Health.

IMPACT aimed to produce a timely evaluation of the National HPV Vaccination Program by (i) establishing a national sentinel surveillance system to enable the collection of specimens for HPV testing from priority populations and (ii) monitoring HPV infection prevalence with linkage of data to the National HPV Vaccination Register.

SHQ was delighted to support the project between 2016-2018 by recruiting 195 participants (161 Women, 34 Men). Preliminary data indicates a significant impact in reducing prevalence of the vaccine targeted types of HPV in all age groups.