The right thing to do: patient's views and experiences of telling partners about chlamydia

Temple-Smith, Meredith, Hopkins, Carol, Fairley, Christopher, Tomnay, Jane, Pavlin, Natasha, Parker, Rhian, Russell, Darren, Bowden, Frank, Hocking, Jane, Pitts, Marian, and Chen, Marcus (2010) The right thing to do: patient's views and experiences of telling partners about chlamydia. Family Practice, 27 (4). pp. 418-423.

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Abstract

Background: Partner notification for patients diagnosed with chlamydia is a strategy recommended to interrupt transmission of infection, and patients are commonly encouraged by health practitioners to contact their sexual partners themselves. Few studies, however, have ascertained the psychosocial impact of the chlamydia diagnosis and its effect on partner notification.

Methods: In-depth telephone interviews were conducted with 25 women and 15 men aged 18–55 years, diagnosed with chlamydia from clinics in Victoria, Australian Capital Territory and Queensland. Reactions to chlamydia diagnosis, as well as reasons for, and feelings about, telling their sexual partners about this infection were explored.

Results: Common reactions to initial diagnosis were surprise, shock and shame. The majority of both men and women saw partner notification as a social duty. Some cited concerns about their own health and the health of others as a reason for telling partners and ex-partners about the diagnosis. An infrequent reason offered for partner notification was to confront a partner to clarify fidelity. Reasons for not contacting a partner were typically fear of reaction or a lack of contact details. Although participants reported sexual partners exhibiting a variety of reactions when told of the diagnosis, results showed that for almost everyone, the experience of notifying their partner was better than they had expected.

Conclusions: Findings suggested that partner notification by people diagnosed with chlamydia is achievable but that many require support from their health practitioner to achieve the skills and confidence necessary during this difficult time.

Item ID: 12085
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1460-2229
Keywords: infectious diseases; patient involvement; qualitative research; sexual health
Date Deposited: 20 Jan 2011 01:57
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111710 Health Counselling @ 50%
11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1103 Clinical Sciences > 110324 Venereology @ 50%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9201 Clinical Health (Organs, Diseases and Abnormal Conditions) > 920109 Infectious Diseases @ 50%
92 HEALTH > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920499 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) not elsewhere classified @ 50%
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