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Knowledge of Chlamydia trachomatis among men and women approached to participate in community-based screening, Scotland, UK

Lorimer, K; Hart, GJ; (2010) Knowledge of Chlamydia trachomatis among men and women approached to participate in community-based screening, Scotland, UK. BMC Public Health , 10 , Article 794. 10.1186/1471-2458-10-794. Green and gold open access

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Abstract

Background: Poor awareness and knowledge of Chlamydia trachomatis could be a barrier to uptake of screening. This study aimed to determine the level of awareness and knowledge of chlamydia among young people who were being approached in a variety of community settings and offered opportunistic screening.Methods: Men and women aged 16-24 years were approached in education, health and fitness, and workplace settings and invited to complete a self-administered questionnaire then provide a urine sample for chlamydia testing. Follow-up semi-structured interviews with 24 respondents were carried out after test results were received.Results: 363 questionnaires were completed (43.5% from men). Whilst awareness of chlamydia was high, knowledge decreased as questions became increasingly focussed so that around half of respondents were unaware of the asymptomatic nature of chlamydia infections. Men's knowledge of symptoms was consistently lower than women's, with most men failing to identify unusual discharge as a symptom in men (men 58.3%, female 45.8%, p = 0.019); fewer men knew unusual discharge was a symptom among women (men 65.3% female 21.4%, p < 0.001). The asymptomatic nature of the infection resonated with respondents and was the commonest piece of information they picked up from their participation in the study.Conclusions: Despite scientific gains in understanding chlamydia infection, public understanding remains limited. Greater efforts are required to translate scientific evidence to the public. An improvement in knowledge may maximise gains from interventions to improve detection.

Type:Article
Title:Knowledge of Chlamydia trachomatis among men and women approached to participate in community-based screening, Scotland, UK
Open access status:An open access publication. A version is also available from UCL Discovery.
DOI:10.1186/1471-2458-10-794
Publisher version:http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1471-2458-10-794
Language:English
Additional information: © 2010 Lorimer and Hart; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Keywords:Sexually-transmitted infections, population, health, settings, behavior, perspectives, willingness, adolescents, university, strategy
UCL classification:UCL > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute for Global Health

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