Recording the sexual orientation of male patients attending general practice

Denton Callander*, Christopher Bourne, Cathy Pell, Robert Finlayson, Bradley Forssman, David Baker, John De Wit, Jane Hocking, Mark Stoové, Basil Donovan, John Kaldor, Rebecca Guy

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Background. Determination of a patient's sexual orientation is important to guide appropriate health care. We assessed how frequently sexual orientation is included in the health records of men attending general practice and factors associated with its recording. Methods. Routine consultation data were extracted from seven Australian general practices in a 2-year period (2011-12) as part of a sexual health testing intervention for gay and bisexual men. We calculated the proportion of male patients with sexual orientation recorded and used logistic regression to determine patient, provider, clinic and community factors associated with recording. Results. There were 12 475 men who attended the clinics in the study period and sexual orientation was recorded for 42%, of whom 67% were identified as homosexual, 3% bisexual and 30% heterosexual. Recording ranged from 3% to 81% between clinics. Patient factors independently associated with recording of sexual orientation were: being HIV-positive [adjusted odds ratio (AOR) = 1.2, 95% CI: 1.1-1.4], previous sexually transmissible infection/HIV testing at the clinic (AOR = 1.8, 95% CI: 1.6-2.0), and ≥6 previous clinic visits (AOR =1 .1, 95% CI: 1.0-1.1). Provider, clinic and community factors independently associated with sexual orientation recording were: regularly attending a female GP (AOR = 1.3, 95% CI: 1.1-1.4), ≥4 previous consults with a particular GP (AOR = 1.4, 95% CI: 1.2-1.7), attending a clinic with a high caseload of gay/bisexual patients (AOR = 8.8, 95% CI: 1.6-48.1), and the patient residing in a community with ≥10% same-sex partner households (AOR = 1.2, 95% CI: 1.0-1.3). Conclusions. Sexual orientation was incomplete for more than half of male patients. Initiatives targeting both the patients and providers need to be considered to improve recording.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35-40
Number of pages6
JournalFamily Practice
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2015
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author 2014.


  • Data quality
  • General practice
  • Primary health care
  • Sexual orientation
  • Sexuality


Dive into the research topics of 'Recording the sexual orientation of male patients attending general practice'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this