Reducing barriers to testing for Chlamydia trachomatis by mailed self-collected samples

Buhrer-Skinner, Monika, Muller, Reinhold, Buettner, Petra G., Gordon, Rose, and Debattista, Joseph (2013) Reducing barriers to testing for Chlamydia trachomatis by mailed self-collected samples. Sexual Health, 10 (1). pp. 32-38.

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Abstract

Chlamydia trachomatis (chlamydia) is the most commonly notified sexually transmissible bacterial infection in Australia, where distance to health services can be a barrier. This study investigated the acceptability of a self-collection kit for chlamydia testing (sent by mail) and assessed the risk profiles of participants with respect to locality. Methods: In total, 2587 self-collection kits were distributed opportunistically or sent directly to participants upon request, as was a self-administered questionnaire. Results: The return rate was 13.2% (n = 341) for samples and questionnaires. The return rate did not differ with location (P = 0.522) but with mode of distribution (opportunistic: 9.7%; by request: 27.4%; P < 0.001). Although 37% of participants had previously been tested for chlamydia, 77.5% said that they would not have sought testing otherwise. The median age of participants was 22.6 years, 33.8% were male and 9.1% were of Aboriginal descent. Overall, 9.0% (95% confidence interval (CI) = 6.1-12.5) of participants were chlamydia-positive. Prevalence of chlamydia and Aboriginal participation increased with remoteness (P < 0.001), and self-reported condom use was significantly reduced for remote and very remote locations (P = 0.008). Within remote and very remote locations, 30.8% (95% CI = 9.1-61.4) of Aboriginal participants and 38.9% of nonIndigenous participants were chlamydia-positive (P = 0.718; 95% CI = 17.3-64.3). Discussion: Testing for chlamydia using a mailed self-collection kit opened access to a predominantly test-naive population. The proposed model was able to reach remote populations. Actively requested kits were more likely to be returned.

Item ID: 26790
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1449-8987
Keywords: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, Australia, geographic location, Queensland, remote, sexually transmissible infection
Funders: Australian Commonwealth Government
Date Deposited: 24 Apr 2013 11:11
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111799 Public Health and Health Services not elsewhere classified @ 100%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920499 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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