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Sex Health. 2017 Jun;14(3):274-281. doi: 10.1071/SH16123.

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

Author information

1
Apunipima Cape York Health Council, Cairns, PO Box 12045, Earlville, Qld 4870, Australia.
2
Kirby Institute, UNSW Australia, Wallace Wurth Building, Kensington, NSW 2052, Australia.
3
South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute, North Terrace Adelaide, SA 5000, Australia.
4
Menzies School of Health Research, Darwin, NT 0810, Australia.
5
NT Department of Health, Sexual Health and Blood Borne Virus Unit, Casuarina, NT 0811, Australia.
6
Lismore Sexual Health Service, NSW Health, Sydney, NSW, 2480, Australia.

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 10559 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.

PMID:
28445684
DOI:
10.1071/SH16123

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