Increasing chlamydia test of re-infection rates using SMS reminders and incentives

Downing, Sandra Gaye, Cashman, Colette, McNamee, Heather, Penney, Debbie, Russell, Darren B., and Hellard, Margaret E. (2013) Increasing chlamydia test of re-infection rates using SMS reminders and incentives. Sexually Transmitted Diseases, 89 (1). pp. 16-19.

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Abstract

Background: Clients diagnosed and treated for Chlamydia trachomatis are a recognised high-risk group for subsequent infection. An estimated 8% of clients treated for chlamydia at Cairns Sexual Health Service return for re-testing within the recommended 3–4-month period. There is no recall or reminder system in place. This study assesses the effectiveness of using short messaging service (SMS) reminders with and without incentive payments to increase re-testing rates.

Methods: Eligible consenting clients were randomly allocated to one of three groups. Group 1 (controls) received the standard advice from the clinician to return for re-testing in 3–4 months. Group 2 received the standard advice and an SMS reminder at 10–12 weeks post-treatment. Group 3 received the standard advice and the SMS reminder, which also offered an incentive payment on clinic attendance.

Results: 32 participants were recruited to groups 1 and 2 and 30 participants to group 3. 62 SMS reminders were sent with 13 (21.0%) reported as undelivered. Re-testing rates were 6.3%, 28.1% and 26.7% for groups 1, 2 and 3, respectively.

Conclusion: SMS reminders with or without an incentive payment increased re-testing rates in our clients who were diagnosed and treated for chlamydia. However, re-testing remained less than ideal, and the high rate of undelivered SMS reminders suggest that this intervention alone will not achieve desired re-testing rates and that a range of strategies will be required to increase re-testing in this population.

Item ID: 26946
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1537-4521
Date Deposited: 11 Jun 2013 04:34
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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