253265 Does educating patients about chlamydia trachomatis infection increase patient self-selectivity for STI screening

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Nichole Mirocha, DO , Department of Family and Community Medicine, Southern Illinois University School of Medicine, Springfield, IL
Brittany Obert, MS3 , Southern Illinois University School of Medicine, Springfield, IL
Wiley D. Jenkins, PhD, MPH , Department of Family and Community Medicine, Southern Illinois University School of Medicine, Springfield, IL
Background – Professional organizations recommend annual chlamydia trachomatis (CT) screening for sexually active women aged 15 to 24 (F15-24). Healthcare providers perceive screening as important, but it is largely limited to preventative health visits. Studies have examined whether educating providers increases CT screenings, but none have examined the effect of educating patients. Objective – To increase CT screening rates of F15-24 attending a family medicine office. Methods – A 7-month (Nov 2010-May 2011) quasi-experimental design of two-week alternating periods whereby F15-24 presenting for any appointment were either provided an educational pamphlet (‘on' period) or no pamphlet (‘off' period). The pamphlet described CT infection, risk factors and local rates, and prompted the reader to request screening during the visit. Pamphlets were distributed by either front desk staff at admission or by a nurse in the exam room. Results – There was no difference by period in: average 2-week attendance by F15-24 (mean=152.40; t=0.6682; p=0.5157) or CT tests requested (mean=20.87; t=0.5200; p=0.6118). Only 4 tests were known to be specifically requested as a result of the program and none were positive. Changing the location of where the pamphlet was provided from the admissions desk to the privacy of the exam room did not affect participation. Conclusions – Engaging patients to instigate screening during a medical visit is challenging. Implementation barriers in this study included the front desk staff unease with pamphlet distribution, parental offense at the material, and patient unease with reading the material in a public setting.

Learning Areas:
Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Public health or related education

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe current recommendations for CT screening in an at-risk population. 2. Describe one approach to increase screening rates involving the education of this at-risk population. 3. Discuss some of the barriers discovered in implementing this approach to patient education and screening of STI’s.

Keywords: Patient Education, STD

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: As a Research Assistant Professor and Director of Research and Program Development within the Dept of Family and Community Medicine at the Southern Illinois University School of Medicine, I have spent much of my career in the public health aspects of chlamydia trachomatis infection rates and screening.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.