This article has been peer reviewed and accepted for publication. It is in production and has not been edited, so may differ from the final published form.
Overcoming challenges associated with partner notification following Chlamydia and Gonorrhoea diagnosis in primary care: a postal survey of doctors and nurses
Aim: To understand factors influencing the effective delivery of partner notification and follow-up after diagnosis of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in primary care, and to identify strategies that might facilitate these processes. Methods: A postal survey was sent to 216 primary care doctors and nurses working in 72 Wellington primary care settings. Eligible clinicians were identified from laboratory testing data and included those who had diagnosed relatively high numbers of Chlamydia and/or gonorrhoea cases during a 12-month period. Response frequencies were tabulated and chi-square testing used to test for significant differences between doctor and nurse responses for selected items. Results: 121 surveys were completed (56% response rate) by 78 doctors and 43 nurses, from 55 primary care settings (76% of sites surveyed). Responding health professionals thought that patients were open to partner notification discussion but appreciated that this sometimes raised difficult issues for patients. Lack of time or resources to follow-up and difficulty getting hold of patients were cited as key factors that limit assessment of partner notification success. Factors deemed likely to facilitate partner notification included the ready availability of credible patient resources, training to upskill practice team members, guidance on what to say and record, and access to external advice and assistance. Discussion: New Zealand has unacceptably high rates of STIs. This study provides insight into provider and patient-level factors perceived to be hindering successful partner notification. Strategies that could facilitate partner notification were identified, and suggestions made as to how these could be integrated into practice.
HC17006 Accepted 10 April 2017
© CSIRO 2017