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This article has been peer reviewed and accepted for publication. It is in production and has not been edited, so may differ from the final published form.

Links SU-Sex: Development of a screening tool for health-risk sexual behaviours related to substance use among MSM

Mathieu Goyette , Jorge Flores-Aranda , Karine Bertrand , Frédérick Pronovost , Valérie Aubut , Roberto Ortiz , Marianne Saint-Jacques


Abstract. Background: Men who have sex with men (MSM) have distinctive substance use (SU), which is more often linked to a sexual context than for their heterosexual peers. Screening of MSM’s SU, its sexual contexts, and the associated risks is of clinical and public health concern. This paper aims to describe the preliminary development of a screening tool for health-risk sexual behaviours related to SU and to make recommendations for its potential use. Methods: Community-based participatory research and transdisciplinary approaches guided the development process. The Links SU-Sex is the result of the integration of findings from a scoping review and from four meetings among SU and sexual health experts (N = 19) consisting of researchers, community stakeholders, as well as substance-using MSM. Results: The Links SU-Sex questionnaire consists of 64 items divided into 13 components that focus on the links between SU and sexual health. It addresses the contexts in which SU occurs, its frequency, its perceived influence, as well as MSM’s concerns about these various links. In accordance with current knowledge, the interpretation of the instrument offers feedback that is based on the respondents’ answers to the various components assessed. Conclusions: The Links SU-Sex represents a potential screening tool that rests on a robust development process supporting its content validity that aims to identify MSM at risk or with concerns surrounding the influence of their SU on their sexual health. The psychometric qualities and the interpretation validity both remain to be established.

SH17134  Accepted 12 January 2018

© CSIRO 2018