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The relative clinical effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of three contrasting approaches to partner notification for curable sexually transmitted infections: a cluster randomised trial in primary care.

Cassell, JA; Dodds, J; Estcourt, C; Llewellyn, C; Lanza, S; Richens, J; Smith, H; ... Rait, G; + view all (2015) The relative clinical effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of three contrasting approaches to partner notification for curable sexually transmitted infections: a cluster randomised trial in primary care. Health Technology Assessment , 19 (5) xxiv, 1-115. 10.3310/hta19050. Green open access

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: Partner notification is the process of providing support for, informing and treating sexual partners of individuals who have been diagnosed with sexually transmitted infections (STIs). It is traditionally undertaken by specialist sexual health services, and may involve informing a partner on a patient's behalf, with consent. With an increasing proportion of STIs diagnosed in general practice and other community settings, there is a growing need to understand the best way to provide partner notification for people diagnosed with a STI in this setting using a web-based referral system. OBJECTIVE: We aimed to compare three different approaches to partner notification for people diagnosed with chlamydia within general practice. DESIGN: Cluster randomised controlled trial. SETTING: General practices in England and, within these, patients tested for and diagnosed with genital chlamydia or other bacterial STIs in that setting using a web-based referral system. INTERVENTIONS: Three different approaches to partner notification: patient referral alone, or the additional offer of either provider referral or contract referral. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: (1) Number of main partners per index patient treated for chlamydia and/or gonorrhoea/non-specific urethritis/pelvic inflammatory disease; and (2) proportion of index patients testing negative for the relevant STI at 3 months. RESULTS: As testing rates for chlamydia were far lower than expected, we were unable to scale up the trial, which was concluded at pilot stage. We are not able to answer the original research question. We present the results of the work undertaken to improve recruitment to similar studies requiring opportunistic recruitment of young people in general practice. We were unable to standardise provider and contract referral separately; however, we also present results of qualitative work aimed at optimising these interventions. CONCLUSIONS: External recruitment may be required to facilitate the recruitment of young people to research in general practice, especially in sensitive areas, because of specific barriers experienced by general practice staff. Costs need to be taken into account together with feasibility considerations. Partner notification interventions for bacterial STIs may not be clearly separable into the three categories of patient, provider and contract referral. Future research is needed to operationalise the approaches of provider and contract partner notification if future trials are to provide generalisable information. TRIAL REGISTRATION: Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN24160819. FUNDING: This project was funded by the National Institute for Health Research Health Technology Assessment programme and will be published in full in Health Technology Assessment; Vol. 19, No. 5. See the NIHR Journals Library website for further project information.

Type: Article
Title: The relative clinical effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of three contrasting approaches to partner notification for curable sexually transmitted infections: a cluster randomised trial in primary care.
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.3310/hta19050
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.3310/hta19050
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the version of record. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Chlamydia Infections, Cluster Analysis, Contact Tracing, Cost-Benefit Analysis, Female, Humans, Lymphogranuloma Venereum, Male, Patient Compliance, Pilot Projects, Primary Health Care, Referral and Consultation, Risk Assessment, Sexual Behavior, Sexual Partners, Sexually Transmitted Diseases, United Kingdom, Young Adult
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute for Global Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute for Global Health > Infection and Population Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health > Primary Care and Population Health
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1461935
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