Interpersonal relations between health care workers and young clients: Barriers to accessing sexual and reproductive health care
Interpersonal relations between health care providers and young clients have long being cited as an important element for improving client up take of services, satisfaction and overall health outcomes. In an era of HIV and AIDS this forms a critical determinant to young people accessing sexual and reproductive health care. This study explores to what extent interpersonal relations form a barrier to young people’s access to and satisfaction of health services. The study draws on data from 200 client exit interviews and four in-depth interviews conducted with university students and university health care staff in Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa. While young people are aware of the importance of utilising STI, HIV and family planning services they experienced barriers in their relationship with providers. This served as a deterrent to their use of the health facility. Adequate training in interpersonal relations for youth-friendly service provision is essential in helping overcome communication problems and enabling providers to interact with young clients at a more personal level.