Dr Julia Bailey


Personal Profile

Name: Julia Bailey Email: julia.bailey@ucl.ac.uk
Title: Dr Tel: 020 7794 0500
Department: Primary Care & Population Health Fax:
Position: HEFCE-NHS Senior Clinical Lecturer/Honorary in Primary Care Address: Upper third floor, Royal Free Hospital, Rowland Hill Street, London, NW3 2PF
Research Domain: Populations & Lifelong Health Web Page: Personal Web Page


Research Description

New technologies for sexual health promotion

Sexual health promotion is a huge public health challenge: for example, rates of genital Chlamydia and HIV infection are increasing, and sexual abuse, violence and sexual dysfunction are common. Primary health care services are central in tackling this crisis, but clinicians and patients may have reservations about raising sexual health problems, and clinical services are often pressurised. The scale of the problem calls for innovations in primary prevention and new models for service delivery such as delivery via new technologies. Julia’s research therefore focuses on the development and evaluation of new technologies for sexual health promotion. This theme also encompasses methodological development in innovative online research methods.

New definitions of sexual health (for intervention design and evaluation)

New approaches are needed in the development and evaluation of sexual health interventions because interventions designed by clinicians have traditionally defined sexual health in mainly physical terms (e.g. pregnancy and sexually transmitted infection). The WHO concept of sexual wellbeing goes beyond physical health to include social and psychological health. This broader definition more closely reflects the complexity of sexual health problems and patients’ priorities. Julia’s research focuses on the conceptual development and practical operationalisation of sexual wellbeing in sexual health intervention design and evaluation.

New approaches to understanding sexual health consultations

Clinicians in primary care have an increasing role to play in addressing sexual health in routine consultations, for example, offering opportunistic HIV testing and Chlamydia screening. However, unsolicited discussions of sexual health may be difficult for clinicians to initiate because of unspoken inferences about patients’ sexual behaviour and risk. Advice for clinicians about the best ways to tackle these issues is often quite general, for example to ‘avoid being judgemental’. However, it is not clear how best to do this. Discourse analysis can help to understand delicate communicative problems, identifying the intricate features of ‘successful’ and ‘unsuccessful’ communication.

Enquiries from prospective students are welcome, on the topics of
1) new technologies in sexual health promotion
2) new definitions of sexual wellbeing
3) new approaches to understanding sexual health consultations

Research Activities

Sexual health

discourse analysis

doctor-patient communication


qualitative research methodology

Education Description

Medical students - sexual health in primary care, systematic reviews and meta-analyses

Sexual health online - workshop for clinicians and academics
Diploma of the Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare - primary trainer in clinical practice

Individual student supervision
BSc/MSc/MA student projects
PhD supervision- Lorna Hobbs - qualitative and quantitative evaluation of the Sextherapylondon website for online sex therapy

E-learning module - 'Asking clinical questions'. For the e-learning for Healthcare project. http://www.e-lfh.org.uk

Discourse analysis - tutor on the MSc/MA module 'Medical Discourses' http://www.kcl.ac.uk/sspp/departments/education/research/ldc/study/masters/modules/meddiscourses.aspx

Qualitative Research Methods in Health - joint course organiser for MA/MSc module at UCL http://www.ucl.ac.uk/pcph/postgrad/qualitative-research-method

  • Day 1: Understanding qualitative methods
  • Day 2: Designing a topic guide and in-depth interviewing
  • Day 3: Focus groups in qualitative research - theory and practice
  • Day 4: Qualitative data analysis
  • Day 5: Designing a qualitative study
  • UCL Collaborators

    Dr Pam Sonnenberg

    External Collaborators



      • Bailey JV, Webster R, Murray E, Hunter R, Freemantle N, Rait G, Michie S, Estcourt C, Anderson J, Gerressu M, Stephenson J, Ang CS, Hart G, Dhanjal S (2015). The Men's Safer Sex (MeNSS) trial: Protocol for a pilot randomised controlled trial of an interactive digital intervention to increase condom use in men. BMJ Open, 5(2), - . doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2014-007552


      • Webster R, Bailey JV (2013). Development of a theory-based interactive digital intervention to improve condom use in men in sexual health clinics: an application of qualitative methods using the behaviour change wheel.
      • Nicholas A, Bailey JV, Stevenson F, Murray E (2013). The Sexunzipped trial: young people's views of participating in an online randomized controlled trial.. J Med Internet Res, 15(12), e276 - . doi:10.2196/jmir.2647
      • Bailey JV, Pavlou M, Copas A, McCarthy O, Carswell K, Rait G, Hart G, Nazareth I, Free C, French R, Murray E (2013). The Sexunzipped trial: optimizing the design of online randomized controlled trials.. J Med Internet Res, 15(12), e278 - . doi:10.2196/jmir.2668


      • Bailey JV, Murray E, Rait G, Mercer CH, Morris RW, Peacock R, Cassell J, Nazareth I (2012). Computer-based interventions for sexual health promotion: systematic review and meta-analyses. Int.J.STD AIDS., 23(6), 408 - 413.
      • Carswell K, McCarthy O, Murray E, Bailey JV (2012). Integrating psychological theory into the design of an online intervention for sexual health: the Sexunzipped website.. J Med Internet Res, doi:10.2196/jmir.2114(in press), - .
      • McCarthy O, Carswell K, Murray E, Free C, Stevenson F, Bailey JV (2012). What young people want from a sexual health website: design and development of sexunzipped. J.Med.Internet.Res., 14(5), e127 - .


      • Bailey JV, Murray E, Rait G, Mercer CH, Morris RW, Peacock R, Cssell J (2011). The "lumping or splitting" debate - making systematic review results useful for policy-makers.. Evidence-Based Child Health, 6, 2273 - 2274.


      • Bailey JV, Murray E, Rait G, Mercer CH, Morris RW, Peacock R, Cassell J, Nazareth I (2010). Interactive computer-based interventions for sexual health promotion.. Cochrane Database Syst Rev, (9), CD006483 - . doi:10.1002/14651858.CD006483.pub2


      • Shaw SE, Bailey J (2009). Discourse analysis: what is it and why is it relevant to family practice?. Family Practice, 26(5), 413 - 419. doi:10.1093/fampra/cmp038


      • Bailey JV (2008). Could patients' coughing have communicative significance?. Communication and Medicine, 5(2), 105 - 115. doi:10.1558/cam.v5i2.105
      • Bailey J (2008). First steps in qualitative data analysis: transcribing. Family Practice, 25(2), 127 - 131. doi:10.1093/fampra/cmn003
      • Bailey JV, Benato R, Owen C, Kavanagh J (2008). Vulvovaginal candidiasis in women who have sex with women. Sexually Transmitted Diseases, 35(6), 533 - 536. doi:10.1097/OLQ.0b013e31816766c2


      • Bailey JV, Murray E, Rait G, Mercer CH, Morris RW, Peacock R, Cassell JA, Nazareth I (2007). Interactive computer-based interventions for sexual health promotion. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, (2), - . doi:10.1002/14651858.CD006483
      • Mercer CH, Bailey JV, Johnson AM, Erens B, Wellings K, Fenton KA, Copas AJ (2007). Women who report having sex with women: British national probability data on prevalence, sexual behaviors, and health outcomes.. American Journal of Public Health, 97(6), 1126 - 1133. doi:10.2105/AJPH.2006.086439


      • Bailey JV, Mercer CH, Johnson AM, Erens B, Wellings K, Fenton KA, Copas AJ (2006). Women who report sex with women in Britain: national probability data on prevalence, sexual behaviors and health outcomes..


      • Bailey JV, Farquhar C, Owen C, Mangtani P (2004). Sexually transmitted infections in women who have sex with women.. Sexually Transmitted Infections, 80(3), 244 - 246.
      • Bailey JV, Farquhar C, Owen C (2004). Bacterial vaginosis in lesbians and bisexual women.. Sexually Transmitted Diseases, 31(11), 691 - 694.


      • Bailey JV, Farquhar C, Owen C, Whittaker D (2003). Sexual behaviour of lesbians and bisexual women.. Sexually Transmitted Infections, 79(2), 147 - 150.


      • Burgers JS, Bailey JV, Klazinga NS, Van Der Bij AK, Grol R F, G AC (2002). Inside guidelines: comparative analysis of recommendations and evidence in diabetes guidelines from 13 countries.. Diabetes Care, 25(11), 1933 - 1939.


      • Farquhar JC, Bailey JV, Whittaker D (2001). Are lesbians sexually healthy? A report of the Lesbian Sexual Behaviour and Health Survey.


      • Bailey JV, Kavanagh J, Owen C, McLean KA, Skinner CJ (2000). Lesbians and cervical screening.. British Journal of General Practice, 50(455), 481 - 482.


      • Millard P, Bailey JV, Hanson J (1991). Outcome of Pregnancy in women in an "antenatal village" in rural Zimbabwe'. Central African Journal of Medicine, 37, - .