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Can we use postal surveys with anonymous testing to monitor chlamydia prevalence in young women in England? Pilot study incorporating randomised controlled trial of recruitment methods

Woodhall, SC; Nichols, T; Alexander, S; da Silva, FC; Mercer, CH; Ison, C; Gill, ON; (2015) Can we use postal surveys with anonymous testing to monitor chlamydia prevalence in young women in England? Pilot study incorporating randomised controlled trial of recruitment methods. Sexually Transmitted Infections , 91 (6) pp. 412-414. 10.1136/sextrans-2015-052067. Green open access

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Abstract

OBJECTIVES: Chlamydia prevalence in the general population is a potential outcome measure for the evaluation of chlamydia control programmes. We carried out a pilot study to determine the feasibility of using a postal survey for population-based chlamydia prevalence monitoring. METHODS: Postal invitations were sent to a random sample of 2000 17-year-old to 18-year-old women registered with a general practitioner in two pilot areas in England. Recipients were randomised to receive either a self-sampling kit (n=1000), a self-sampling kit and offer of £5 voucher on return of sample (n=500) or a self-sampling kit on request (n=500). Participants returned a questionnaire and self-taken vulvovaginal swab sample for unlinked anonymous Chlamydia trachomatis testing. Non-responders were sent a reminder letter 3 weeks after initial invitation. We calculated the participation rate (number of samples returned/number of invitations sent) and cost per sample returned (including cost of consumables and postage) in each group. RESULTS: A total of 155/2000 (7.8%) samples were returned with consent for testing. Participation rates varied by invitation group: 7.8% in the group who were provided with a self-sampling kit, 14% in the group who were also offered a voucher and 1.0% in the group who were not sent a kit. The cost per sample received was lowest (£36) in the group who were offered both a kit and a voucher. CONCLUSIONS: The piloted survey methodology achieved low participation rates. This approach is not suitable for population-based monitoring of chlamydia prevalence among young women in England.

Type: Article
Title: Can we use postal surveys with anonymous testing to monitor chlamydia prevalence in young women in England? Pilot study incorporating randomised controlled trial of recruitment methods
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1136/sextrans-2015-052067
Publisher version: http://doi.org/10.1136/sextrans-2015-052067
Language: English
Additional information: Published by the BMJ Publishing Group Limited. For permission to use (where not already granted under a licence) please go to http://group.bmj.com/group/rights-licensing/permissions.
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
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1484668
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