Patient, staffing and health centre factors associated with annual testing for sexually transmissible infections in remote primary health centres

Belinda Hengel, Handan Wand, James Ward, Alice Rumbold, Linda Garton, Debbie Taylor-Thomson, Bronwyn Silver, Skye McGregor, Amalie Dyda, Jacqueline Mein, Janet Knox, Lisa Maher, John Kaldor, Rebecca Guy, Robyn McDermott, Steven Skov, John Boffa, Donna Ah Chee, Matthew Law, Christopher FairleyBasil Donovan, David Glance, STRIVE Investigators

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    Abstract

    Background: In high-incidence Chlamydia trachomatis (CT) and Neisseria gonorrhoeae (NG) settings, annual re-testing is an important public health strategy. Using baseline laboratory data (2009-10) from a cluster randomised trial in 67 remote Aboriginal communities, the extent of re-testing was determined, along with the associated patient, staffing and health centre factors. 

    Methods: Annual testing was defined as re-testing in 9-15 months (guideline recommendation) and a broader time period of 5-15 months following an initial negative CT/NG test. Random effects logistic regression was used to determine factors associated with re-testing. 

    Results: Of 10 559 individuals aged ≥16 years with an initial negative CT/NG test (median age = 25 years), 20.3% had a re-test in 9-15 months (23.6% females vs 15.4% males, P < 0.001) and 35.2% in 5-15 months (40.9% females vs 26.5% males, P < 0.001). Factors independently associated with re-testing in 9-15 months in both males and females were: younger age (16-19, 20-24 years); and attending a centre that sees predominantly (>90%) Aboriginal people. Additional factors independently associated with re-testing for females were: being aged 25-29 years, attending a centre that used electronic medical records, and for males, attending a health centre that employed Aboriginal health workers and more male staff. 

    Conclusions: Approximately 20% of people were re-tested within 9-15 months. Re-testing was more common in younger individuals. Findings highlight the importance of recall systems, Aboriginal health workers and male staff to facilitate annual re-testing. Further initiatives may be needed to increase re-testing.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)274-281
    Number of pages8
    JournalSexual Health
    Volume14
    Issue number3
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2017

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