264382 So They Can Know: A description and initial evaluation of a new email-based STI partner notification website

Monday, October 29, 2012

Jessica Ladd, MPH , Department of Epidemiology, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD
Issues: Every year, over 3 million young Americans get infected with a curable sexually transmitted infection (STI) such as chlamydia, gonorrhea, or trichomoniasis. One of the most effective strategies for addressing this public health problem is partner notification, which brings high-risk partners of diagnosed individuals in for testing and treatment.

Description: So They Can Know is a website that allows people who have been diagnosed with curable STIs to anonymously inform their partners that they might have an STI. Patients can send informative anonymous emails to their partners, which will provide relevant health information and links to locate nearby testing services. So They Can Know will be launched in June 2012 and will have a target population of adolescents in the United States.

Lessons Learned: The authors will describe the formative research, planning, and design processes behind So They Can Know. This description will include a discussion of the challenges involved in the creation of non-profit technology-based health interventions. The authors will also describe the measurable objectives of So They Can Know and the results of the first few months of project uptake. These results will include the number of site visitors, the number and type of email notifications sent, the stated reason for the sending of email notifications, and the reactions of notification email recipients.

Recommendations: Research and evaluation should be integrated into health technology products from the beginning. Academia and the public sector should do more to support the development of public health technology products.

Learning Areas:
Communication and informatics
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Protection of the public in relation to communicable diseases including prevention or control
Systems thinking models (conceptual and theoretical models), applications related to public health

Learning Objectives:
Describe the rationale behind and objectives of So They Can Know Describe the research and design process that preceded the launch of So They Can Know Assess the extent to which So They Can Know has successfully achieved its objectives

Keywords: Sexual Behavior, Technology

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the project director and principal researcher of So They Can Know. I have extensive background in the field of sexual health and have focused my graduate studies on STI partner notification and on the application of technology to sexual health problems.
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.