Associations between oil development and sexually transmitted infections: Public health nurse perspectives

Andrea L. Huseth-Zosel, Molly Secor-Turner, Qian Wen, Xiyuan Liu, Rick J. Jansen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Oil development (OD) has been associated with increased sexually transmitted infection (STI) rates, with limited focus on the North Dakota (ND) oil boom. Public health (PH) nurse experiences can provide context related to health challenges during OD-related population booms. Objective: To compare reported STI rates in ND oil-producing (OP) and non-oil-producing (NOP) counties before, during, and after the oil boom and describe PH nurse experiences during this time. Design: We conducted secondary data analysis of oil production data and reported rates for chlamydia and gonorrhea, and conducted interviews with ND PH nurses. Sample: PH nurses within ND counties geographically located in or near OD in the state. Measurements: ND county-level OD data trends were compared to similarly timed reported rates of chlamydia and gonorrhea in OP and NOP counties. PH nurse interviews were conducted addressing their STI-related experiences working in PH during the oil boom. Results: Significant findings include a correlation between OD and gonorrhea rates. PH nurses described a limited PH infrastructure to meet the health needs of a transient, increasing population. Conclusions: Expanding the role of PH nurses in ND to implement STI screening and treatment would improve access to STI testing allowing for comprehensive reporting of STIs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4-12
Number of pages9
JournalPublic Health Nursing
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • North Dakota
  • chlamydia
  • gonorrhea
  • oil production
  • sexually transmitted infections

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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