Australian Journal of Primary Health Australian Journal of Primary Health Society
The issues influencing community health services and primary health care
REVIEW

Narrative review of the barriers and facilitators to chlamydia testing in general practice

Anna Yeung A E , Meredith Temple-Smith B , Christopher Fairley C D and Jane Hocking A
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, L3, 207 Bouverie Street, The University of Melbourne, Vic. 3010, Australia.

B General Practice and Primary Health Care Academic Centre, 200 Berkeley Street, The University of Melbourne, Vic. 3010, Australia.

C Melbourne Sexual Health Centre, 580 Swanston Street, Carlton, Vic. 3053, Australia.

D Central Clinical School, Monash University, Alfred Hospital, 55 Commercial Road, Melbourne, Vic. 3004, Australia.

E Corresponding author. Email: ayeung@unimelb.edu.au

Australian Journal of Primary Health 21(2) 139-147 https://doi.org/10.1071/PY13158
Submitted: 23 November 2013  Accepted: 16 July 2014   Published: 14 August 2014

Abstract

As the cornerstone of Australian primary health care, general practice is a setting well suited for regular chlamydia testing but testing rates remain low. This review examines the barriers and facilitators to chlamydia testing in general practice. Six databases – Medline, PubMed, Meditext, PsycInfo, Scopus and Web of Science – were used to identify peer-reviewed publications that addressed barriers and facilitators to chlamydia testing in general practice using the following terms: ‘chlamydia test*’, ‘STI test*’’general practice’, ‘primary care’, ‘family medicine’, ‘barriers’, ‘facilitators’ and ‘enablers’ from 1997 until November 2013. Data about the study design and key findings were extracted from the publications. A framework method was used to manage the data and organise publications into three categories –patient, general practitioner, and general practice. Key findings were then classified as a barrier or facilitator. Sixty-nine publications were included, with 41 quantitative studies, 17 qualitative studies, and 11 using mixed methods. Common barriers identified in all three groups included a lack of knowledge, awareness or training, demands on time and workload, and the social context of testing. Facilitators included the normalisation of testing, the use of nurses and other practice staff, education and incentives. Numerous barriers and facilitators to chlamydia testing in general practice have been identified. While the barriers are well studied, many of the facilitators are not as well researched, and highlight areas for further study.

Additional keywords: general practitioner, primary health care.


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