From February 2017, information about the work of the MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Sciences Unit, University of Glasgow is available and updated on the University of Glasgow website.

Communicating Health Results

The Communicating Health Results Study is a cross-programme collaboration the between Lisa McDaid and Shona Hilton (Understanding and Use of Public Health Research). The Gay Men's Sexual Health Survey has been conducted by SPHSU every three years since 1996. Since 2005, the survey has included the collection of anonymous oral fluid to assess the prevalence of HIV and undiagnosed infection.  As the biological samples are collected anonymously, the men taking part do not receive any individual feedback on their result.  Participants have not been asked about these issues, but anecdotally, fieldwork staff report being asked questions about why participants cannot get the results from their oral fluid test. 

There is much debate about the best way to manage health-related findings, but it is an area that has received little attention thus far. This qualitative study aims to examine gay men’s view on the issue of health-related research feedback and to identify the factors that should be taken into account in the management of feedback processes in the future.

Current Research

Forty-six telephone interviews were conducted with gay men from the venues that took part in the 2011 Gay Men’s Sexual Health Survey. The sample includes: 19 men who participated in the survey, providing questionnaires and oral fluid samples; 10 men who participated, but only completed questionnaires, not oral fluid samples; and 17 men who did not participate in the survey. Participants were asked about: understandings of, and participation in, the Gay Men’s Sexual Health Survey; views on getting HIV test result feedback from surveys; views on taking part in different types of surveys; and views on donating tissue samples. The written transcripts of the interviews have been analysed and the findings will be available in 2015.